In Play with Tom Markowski

Loyer, Clarkston contain North Farmington, take over first place in the OAA Red

Basketball   | Tom Markowski

State Champs! Sports Network

Farmington Hills – Foster Loyer might not be the best freshman in the state but he’s close.

Clarkston might not be the best team in the state but its close.

Loyer scored 15 points including four free throws in the final minute as Clarkston downed North Farmington 48-37 before a packed gym at North Farmington on Wednesday.

Clarkston (13-0, 3-0), ranked No. 8 in Class A, took over first place in the Oakland Activities Association Red Division bumping North Farmington (12-1, 3-1) into second.

Loyer is a 6-1 point guard who plays the game as if he started on varsity for three seasons. It’s his court sense, his awareness of just exactly where his teammates are on the floor at all times that sets him apart.

Clarkston coach Dan Fife is sometimes awestruck. Here’s a coach who coached three sons (Duggan, Jeremy and Dane) at Clarkston and who demands much from his players, especially his sons. It’s not that Fife expects his players to do more than they’re capable of, he just wants them to play the game intelligently.

Loyer plays the game that way. And no wonder. His father, John Loyer, is a coach, too. Loyer is an assistant with the Detroit Pistons.

“He’s beyond his years,” Fife said of Loyer. “Where this kid is headed to in the future in unbelievable. He’s been raised around the Pistons. You can see that. He knows where everybody is at on the court. Even if they’re behind him.”

Loyer really isn’t a scorer though he can score. Like all good point guards Loyer looks to pass first. But he is accurate from the perimeter and just about anywhere on the court. He scored eight straight, including two 3-pointers, for his team to turn a 9-7 deficit late in the first quarter to a 15-13 lead with 4:56 left in the half.

Loyer’s third 3-pointer capped a 9-0 run that gave the Wolves a 32-24 lead with 3:52 left in the third.

Andrew Myers added 11 points for Clarkston and Jonah Newblatt had 10.

This game provided more than one test for Clarkston. North Farmington was off to the best start in school history, was ranked No. 10 in Class A and was playing with confidence. Clarkston’s shut down the Raiders’ inside game, led by the 6-7 Jeron Rogers, and forced 21 turnovers. Rogers was held to 10 points and Anthony Qawasa had 13.

There was one test the Wolves didn’t plan on. At the beginning of Tuesday’s practice one of their top scorers, junior Tabin Throgmorton, suffered a leg injury. He didn’t play and it’s uncertain when he will. Fife said he and the team will learn more on Throgmorton’s status on Monday.

“When he went down, we were stunned,” Loyer said. “When we realized he really was hurt we had to pick up the pace. We’re extremely deep. We’ve got guys who can score. We had a good practice.

“Coach knows we have it in us. They’re very big inside. We tried to deny the post.”

 The post? Apparently Loyer understands that part of the game as well. Despite his size Loyer isn’t afraid to mix it up. His six rebounds led his team.

North Farmington coach Todd Negoshian came away impressed.

"He's really good," he said. "You can't rattle him. He makes shots and finds the open man. At the end of the day he's a winner."

Remember now, he’s just a freshman.