North Farmington is setting up for a first — playing for a state boys basketball title.
While its opponent in Friday’s Class A semifinals, Lansing Everett, is a surprise, North Farmington has some star power.
There’s the unselfish play of four-year starting point guard Jacob Joubert, senior Billy Thomas and junior Amauri Hardy, who can take the ball to the basket with regularity.
And there’s the inside threat of 6-foot-5 senior forward Alex Darden (Cincinnati).
“He does a lot of things for us, rebounds the ball well, alters a lot of shots, really he’s a guy who enjoys his role and for you to be a good team you have to have guys who don’t want the spotlight,” North Farmington coach Todd Negoshian said of Darden. “He’s a big key for us.”
Lansing Everett entered the postseason with a .500 record.
Pick: North Farmington by 6
Thursday-Friday, Breslin Center, East Lansing
U-D Jesuit (26-0) vs. Macomb Dakota (26-0), 1 p.m. Friday: Jesuit has experience, reaching the semifinals the past two years, and Mr. Basketball, senior PG Cassius Winston. Dakota needs a big day from the perimeter. Jesuit by 5
Detroit Henry Ford (18-6) vs. Williamston (21-3), 6 p.m. Friday: Ford is back to take care of business after losing in the semifinals last year. For Ford to reach the final, it has to get past Williamston and senior G Riley Lewis. Williamston by 1
Big Rapids (23-2) vs. Stevensville Lakeshore (19-7), 7:50 p.m. Friday: Lakeshore 6-11 senior Braden Burke has been impressive during the postseason. Lakeshore by 3
Grandville Calvin Christian (20-4) vs. McBain (26-0), 1 p.m. Thursday: Calvin Christian dominated one unbeaten team (Kalamazoo Hackett), now it faces another. Look for McBain’s big man, 6-7 Craig Sterk, to have his way inside. McBain by 5
Detroit Loyola (21-5) vs. Flint Beecher (23-2), 2:50 p.m. Thursday: Loyola pulled off a number of upsets to reach the semifinals, but defending champion Beecher has the 1-2 punch of Malik Ellison and Aquavius Burks. Beecher by 8
Waterford Lakes (21-4) vs. Wyoming Tri-unity Christian (20-5), 6 p.m. Thursday: Lakes senior G Andrew Kline can put up big numbers. Lakes by 2
Fulton (19-6) vs. Powers North Central (26-0), 7:50 p.m. Thursday: Defending champion North Central, which has won 53 straight, leans on 6-4 junior G Jason Whitens. North Central by 10