In Play with Tom Markowski

Anthony Qasawa's 23 points leads North Farmington to a 67-52 victory over Brother Rice in a Class A district final

Basketball   | Tom Markowski

State Champs! Sports Network

Farmington Hills – North Farmington lost to Bloomfield Hills in the district last season and North Farmington forward Anthony Qasawa watched as Bloomfield Hills went on to play for a state title.

“We told each other, that’s us next year,” Qasawa said. “They had Yante Maten and we have Buddha (Jeron Rogers). We have the same pieces. Just like them.”

North Farmington (19-3) played like a contender on Friday as it shot past Birmingham Brother Rice 67-52 in a Class A district final at North Farmington.

North Farmington was 8-for-12 from the 2-point range in the first half and led 39-24. The Raiders made 11 3-pointers for the game and Brother Rice never got closer than 13 points in the second half.

“We haven’t shot the ball well for three weeks,” North Farmington coach Todd Negoshian said. “They did some extra shooting in practice and that seemed to help. I think we’re a good shooting team. We can shoot it consistently. I learned from (Oakland University coach) Greg Kampe when I was there that if you shoot it well, it covers up a lot of problems.”

North Farmington had few problems against the Warriors. Teams will go hot and cold from the field from game to game but one constant at North Farmington has been the play of its defense. Brother Rice shot 31.4 percent (11-35) from the field in the first three quarters. Kevin Hayes, Brother Rice’s 6-6 post player, had 15 points but did not have a field goal in the second half.

Brother Rice coach Ed Schaffer said it’s a simple game. If a team shoots well more often than not they play and his Warriors didn’t shoot well.

“We had great shots,” he said. “We had great looks. We were prepared for their defense. They’re a good team. They try to rattle you. I don’t think we got rattled. We just didn’t make shots.”

 Five players made at least one 3-pointer for North Farmington. Reserve guard Josh Hogans made all three of his attempts from long range in the first half.

Qasawa had four 3-pointers and led North Farmington with 23 points and seven rebounds. Rogers had 16 points and nine rebounds, and Alex Darden had 10 points and three blocks.

“Tonight was a real good shooting day,” Qasawa said. “Practice translates into games. Hogans comes in there and gives us all that energy.

“Being a senior, this is big. I couldn’t sleep this week thinking about winning a district. We had hour-long phone calls talking about it.”

Nick Bielkie added 12 points for Brother Rice (15-7).

It was the first state final in the history of the Bloomfield Hills school district last season and North Farmington is still reaching for that goal.

Next up for the Raiders is a regional semifinal. North Farmington (19-3) will play Oak Park (12-8), a 54-42 winner over Southfield-Lathrup, on Monday at Southfield High at a time to be announced later.