Farmington’s defense stepped up in the second half and was the difference in a 66-57 win Monday against Ferndale in an Oakland Activities Association Blue Division boys basketball game.
One of Farmington’s top players, Jaden Akins, does not have a lot of experience in high school because he is only a freshman, but he powered the team to victory with 22 points.
Farmington coach Terrance Porter has been pleased with Akins' play this season.
“He (Akins) is getting better and better every game,” Porter said. “He has really improved defensively as well.”
Akins and the defense of Farmington (10-6, 8-3) kept Ferndale out of sync.
Teonta McKeithen had 25 points and Keelen Lucas added 24 for Ferndale (5-7, 6-11).
“We were able to force turnovers on defense and turn those turnovers into points on the offensive side,” Porter said.
Farmington had other players step up and contribute in the victory. Christian Smith had 16 points, Ray Bryant scored 15 and Russell Norris came of the bench with 10 points.
The duo of Smith and Bryant have been playing good basketball for Farmington during the season.
“Smith has been shooting well and he’s been consistent,” Porter said. “His teammates are doing a good job of finding him on the offensive side of the ball.
“Bryant had a strong performance offensively tonight. He was able to attack the basketball and score at will."
Farmington is sitting third place in the OAA Blue with three games left to play in conference and will need some help from the other teams to climb the standings.
“We have three losses in conference, so we’re going to need the teams in front of us to lose some games,” Porter said. “Our next game is a big one for us.”
That game is against Rochester, who is first in the conference. If Farmington wants a shot at the conference title it will need to take care of business when it hots Rochester at 7 p.m. Wednesday.
Farmington lost to Rochester earlier in the season by two points and Porter knows how important the rematch is for his team.
“It was a battle against them last time we met, so I know this go around will be no different,” Porter said.
With just four games left in the regular season, Porter wants his team to improve defensively and treat these final games as the state tournament.
“I want my boys to have that win or go home mindset," Porter said. "That will get us ready for states."
More boys basketball
Troy Athens 59, Birmingham Seaholm 52: Taylor McCaskill had 14 points, Jacob Brantley 13 and Haroun Noor 12 for Troy Athens (14-3, 9-2 OAA White). Brady Flynn scored 18 and Zach Ziegler 11 for Seaholm (9-8, 4-7).
Avondale 52, Ferndale 25: Olivia Russell had 14 points, Keiori Lee 12 and Toya Golden 10 for Avondale (15-2, 10-1 OAA Blue). Ferndale is 3-10, 2-7.
Troy 35, Rochester 31: Calen Knight had 13 points and Athena Samson had nine points and 13 rebounds for Troy (7-11, 3-9 OAA White). Jenna Norgrove scored eight for Rochester.
Wayne Memorial 45, Hartland 14: Camree Clegg had 15 points and Sam Hoskin 14 for Wayne Memorial (15-4). Graysen Cockerham scored 14 for Hartland (14-5).
More girls basketball scores
Marine City Cardinal Mooney 42, St. Clair Shores Lake Shore 29
Plymouth Christian 53, Whitmore Lake 16
Kevin Moore is a freelance writer.