Hot-Shooting South Handles Tigers
by Pat Rupp
Lakeville South started the season 5-9 but has now won three straight after a convincing 85-59 South Suburban Conference victory over Farmington Tuesday night at Tiger Gym.
The Cougars finished the first round of conference play 6-3 while the Tigers, 7-9 overall, head into round two with a 3-6 league record.
Tuesday’s contest started out like it would be competitive with the teams deadlocked at 10-10 early on. Then the bottom fell out on the home team which saw its guests go on a suffocating 25-3 run that included five three-point baskets.
“We knew coming in that South was probably the best three-point shooting team in the conference,” Farmington coach Tharen Johnson said. “Jack Sorenson has scored over 2,000 points in his career and four of their five starters can hit the three.
“We didn’t do a good enough job pressuring the ball. As a result they had room to shoot or find other guys open to shoot. Our guys didn’t trust the other four guys behind them. We have to play team defense with all five guys rotating to defend a team like South.”
After trailing by as many as 22 points in the opening half the Tigers managed to cut the halftime deficit to 18 on a couple of late baskets by Brady Bean.
It didn’t take long for the visitors to erase any doubt about the outcome. South made 11 of its first 15 shots of the second half to build a comfortable lead. Fifteen points (72-57) was as close as Farmington would get the rest of the way.
“Too many turnovers and quick outside shots by us,” Johnson said. “They zone pressed us. It’s a press we also run, so it was disappointing to see our guys turn it over so much. We didn’t get the ball moving enough and didn’t use enough pass fakes…
“We also didn’t get back in transition. We knew they liked to leak guys out early in transition and our guys up top didn’t rotate back. Those things combined to lead to their big run.”
Senior Sam Wilson and Kole Hinrichsen reached double figures for the Tigers with 19 and 10 points respectively. Bean had seven, Jameson Shrum six and Brock Mogensen and Caden Freetly five apiece.
Wilson, named the Prep Hoops Player of the Week last week, drew some words of praise from his coach.
“Sam played a solid game,” Johnson said. “He had some tough finishes around the rim against Shae Mitchell who is getting recruited by division one teams.”
The Cougars, who did a good job sharing the basketball, had five players score in double digits: Sorenson 26, Beau Bailey and Cooper Jackson 11apiece and Mitchell and Boston Mast 10 each.
Wilson had seven rebounds and Freetly six for the Tigers who finished one rebound behind the Cougars (31-32).
South shot 55 percent from the floor to just 38.7 for the Tigers. The Cougars finished with 11 three-pointers but were equally effective on the inside, outscoring Farmington by 40-26 in the paint. The Tigers also hurt themselves with turnovers, totaling 15
Farmington jumps right back on the floor Wednesday night with a non-conference road game at Fridley. Friday they return home to entertain South Suburban Conference rival Eastview.
“We need to get back to playing solid defense and getting quality shots on the offensive end,” Johnson said.