Detroit — North Farmington made sure it had the start it was looking for in the Class A quarterfinals Tuesday at Calihan Hall, scoring the first 10 points en route to a 70-57 victory over Sterling Heights Stevenson.
North Farmington (23-2), which won its first regional title last week, faces Lansing Everett (16-10), a 63-54 double-overtime winner over Hudsonville, in a 3 p.m. semifinal Friday at Breslin Center.
North Farmington put on a clinic in the first quarter to set the tempo and take a 22-11 lead, sharing the ball, pounding the offensive glass for second-chance points and getting a great defensive effort from 6-foot-5 senior Alex Darden.
“We focused on playing defense to start the game, all about the defense,” said North Farmington four-year starting point guard Jacob Joubert, who scored off a driving layup, then made a 3-pointer to key the game-opening 10-0 run. “My coach (Todd Negoshian) always encourages me to be aggressive, always in my ear to be aggressive and once I’m aggressive if the help comes I can kick it or finish.”
Junior guard Amauri Hardy scored 18 for North Farmington, Joubert added 15 (7-for-8 free throws in the fourth quarter), Darden had 12 points, 14 rebounds and four blocks, and senior guard Billy Thomas scored 13.
It was Darden, headed for Cincinnati next year, who was dominant rebounding, helping North Farmington score 14 second-chance points off nine offensive rebounds in the first half to take a 35-17 lead.
“Darden plays his heart out every game, he’s so tough,” Joubert said.
Macomb Dakota 66, Midland 47: Thomas Kithier scored 20 and Jermaine Jackson Jr. added 16 for Dakota (26-0). Payton DeWildt scored 14 for Midland (17-7).
Williamston 53, River Rouge 46: Riley Lewis scored 27 for Williamston (23-3). Darian Owens-White scored 19 for River Rouge (22-4).
Detroit Loyola 58, Hanover-Horton 47: DeQuan Powell scored 16 and P.J. Mitchell added 15 for Loyola (21-5). Jay McMuller scored 19 and Preston Laketa had 12 for Hanover-Horton (23-3).
News staff contributed