Blogs > Burney's Bytes

Burney's Bytes will focus primarily on the local preps sports scene, but will also touch on some college and pro athletics, mostly in regards to athletes who hail and have played high school sports in Oakland County. My goal for the blog is to be conversational and anecdotal, a more relaxed and free formal take on high school athletics than you see in regular game day coverage.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Hanging Tough

If there was ever a loss on the basketball floor that a coach and a fan-base can be proud of it was North Farmington's bitterly contested 62-53 defeat at the hands of Madison Memorial out of Wisconsin, the No. 17 ranked boys high school hoops squad in the entire country, on Tuesday night in the 17th annual Motor City Roundball Classic.
Not considered one of the favorites in its league, North Farmington played neck and neck with the defending Division 1 Wisconsin state champions until the closing few minutes.
The game was tied 22-22 at the half and knotted at 42-42 apiece entering the fourth quarter, with the pesky Raiders challenging the powerful and athletically-gifted Memorial cage crew at every turn.
Memorial, winners of three of the past five WHSAA state crowns, went on top for keeps with 7:46 remaining courtesy of a beautifully-executed three-point play by all-state senior forward Junior Lomomba. Splitting two defenders, Lomomba forced contact in the air, finger-rolled in the lay-up and then sank the ensuing free throw.
Junior swingman Jester Wear's fastbreak basket with a little less than four minutes left to go made it 54-45 in Memorial's favor.
But North Farmington kept scratching and clawing and made things interesting until the very end.
A long 3-pointer from the left wing by junior point guard Caleb Hogans and a turnaround jumper in the lane by senior center Greg Joyce brought the Raiders to within only two possessions behind at a score of 57-51 in the game's final 50 seconds.
However, a basket by Wear and free throws by Lomomba and Nigel Songola wrapped things up for Memorial down the stretch in the closing moments. Jamar Moss (16 points, 10 rebounds) also converted some critical buckets in the fourth quarter for Memorial, which out-boarded its opponents by a 2-1 margin.
Hogans headed North Farmington's admirable effort by dropping in a game-high 20 points, to go along with six assists and three steals on the night. This is Hogans second year as the Raiders' starting floor general. His older brother Robert, now playing at Spring Arbor, was an all-league pick at the school as a senior in 2010, when he teamed with Kyle Vinales (Central Connecticut State) and Urbane Bingham (JUCCO/Houston Baptist) to take TEAM NOGO to a district title.
The senior frontcourt of Joyce and Dorrell Foster did all that they could in the post to keep their team in the mix. Joyce scored 10 points and hauled down eight rebounds. Foster, one of the area's early-season surprises, scored 11 points and had 10 boards.
After snaring the hard-fought victory, Memorial bumps its record up to perfect 8-0 on the season. On Monday night, Memorial snared a win over a very good Detroit King team.
Seeing its record fall to the .500 mark at 3-3, North Farmington entered Tuesday's game riding a two-game winning streak. The Raiders return to action in the Roundball Classic on Thursday afternoon when they are slated to square off with Detroit Renaissance.  
Lomomba and Wear sparked the Memorial offense by each posting a double-double of 17 points and 14 rebounds. Next year, Lomomba will be playing in college at Cleveland State.


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