Farmington Wins Battle of the Tigers at Fridley
by Pat Rupp
Farmington used a late spurt and a beast of a game by senior Sam Wilson to beat Fridley 68-59 in a Battle of the Tigers Wednesday night in Fridley.
Wilson, after scoring 19 points in a loss to Lakeville South the previous night, scorched the nets for 32, including nine in a late 12-0 run that turned a three-point deficit into a nine-point lead.
“Sam was a wrecking ball,” Farmington coach Tharen Johnson said. “He was really going hard to the basket and putting pressure on their defense. He also held their top player who is averaging 21 points a game to only 10. He just wouldn’t be denied
“When we got back to the school, Sam couldn’t even make it down to the locker room; he was cramping up in the entry way. He really left it all on the floor tonight.”
The game’s final outcome wasn’t very apparent in the first half as Farmington suffered from more turnover problems and at one point trailed by double digits at 31-21. Wilson scored seven of his team’s final 10 points in the half to cut the deficit to 36-31 at intermission.
“Kole (Hinrichsen) and Sam really kept us in the game in the first half,” Johnson said. “Kole hit three 3’s to keep the damage down…We had too many turnovers again that lead to easy buckets.”
The visitors battled back in the second half led by Wilson and a pair of timely tree-pointers by Adam Weed but they still trailed 53-50 with the clock becoming a factor.
That’s when Wilson turned it up a notch, scoring nine points while Weed canned another trey to give Farmington some breathing room. The winners finished the night on a 26-8 run.
“In the second half we made some adjustments to take advantage of Fridley’s switching defense,” Johnson said. “We got some mismatches, got the ball into the post and that lead to the run.”
Wilson scored 16 points in each half for the Tigers for his 32 point-night on 13 of 20 shooting. Weed finished with 10 all in the second half. Hinrichsen added nine points on a perfect 3-3 night from three-point range and also dished out six assists. Caden Freetly and Miles Mendes each had six points and Jameson Shrum chipped in with five.
Freetly yanked down 14 rebounds, including a dozen on the defensive end, to help his team to a hefty 29-18 advantage on the boards.
The winning Tigers shot well from the field (59.6 percent) while holding Fridley (11-9) to just 45 percent. Farmington made eight of 13 tries from behind the arc, including three by Hinrichsen and two each by Weed and Wilson.
If there was a negative in the box score it came in the turnover department where Farmington committed 21 miscues that led to 20 Fridley points.
Farmington (8-9) will make it three games in four nights Friday when they entertain Eastview in a South Suburban Conference game at Tiger Gym. Eastview prevailed 64-61 when the two teams met earlier in the season.