Eastview Rains Treys on Tigers
by Pat Rupp
Eastview brought its long distance A game to Tiger Gym Friday night and by the time the final buzzer sounded the Lightning had buried the Tigers 77-52 in a tsunami of three-pointers.
The loss concluded a hectic three-day period in which Farmington (8-10) played three games in four nights.
“I don’t think physical fatigue was an issue,” Tiger coach Tharen Johnson said. “Our team just didn’t come out with a focus and intensity needed to compete in this conference.
“That’s on all of us, players and coaches. Coaches obviously aren’t doing our job if we keep coming out with a lack of concentration. Players also need to look inward a bit and be ready to come out at a higher level.”
The script was written early when Eastview started draining three-point shots like they were lay-ups. The visitors jumped to a 27-15 lead on the back of eight treys, six of them by Lightning sharpshooter Mason Carpenter.
All in all, Eastview canned a dozen three’s in the opening half and hit intermission with a commanding 52-29 lead. Carpenter had 24 points on eight long bombs.
“We knew going into the game that they had some good shooters,” Johnson said. “Our guys need to be more focused at the beginning of games and close out on the shooter with higher hands and more determination to take them out of rhythm.
“Sometimes when a shooter sees the first one go in he starts shooting with more confidence and has a big nights like Carpenter did tonight. We need more intensity early to force more contested shots so they don’t get that confidence.”
Sam Wilson, who totaled 51 points in the week’s first two games, carried the Farmington offense load over the first 18 minutes with 17 markers.
The Tigers started the second half on a 9-2 run, seven coming from Wilson, while the Lightning missed eight of its first nine shots to give the local fans some hope of a comeback. But the Tigers went cold from the field and got themselves in early foul trouble to squelch the rally.
The Lighting made only two three-pointers after intermission to finish with 14 (in 27 attempts) for the game. The Tigers, meanwhile, were just five of 21 from beyond the arc.
Wilson tallied 29 points to lead the Farmington scoring but no teammate managed to crack double figures. Miles Mendes had six and Brock Mogensen five.
“We’ve been too reliant on our seniors the last couple games,” Johnson said. “We’ve pointed out in film sessions to our younger guys that they get in a habit of standing around and watching when Sam or Kole (Hinrichsen) get the ball. We need to break those habits in practice by working on cutting and screening drills.”
Carpenter had a game-high 34 points to pace the Lightning. Jameson Bryan chimed in with 17 and Tate Machacek had 11.
Wilson led the Tigers to slim 30-28 advantage on the boards with nine. The versatile senior also had a team-high three assists. The Tigers cut down their turnovers to an even dozen but the Lightning converted them into 22 points, many of them coming from long distance.
Next week the Tigers have two more South Suburban games on the docket, Tuesday at Shakopee and Friday back home against Eagan.
“When we played Shakopee (a 69-61 loss) last time I felt we should have played better,” Johnson said. They are well-coached and are always going to play disciplined, hard-nosed basketball. At the same time they are starting three freshmen and we need to take advantage of that.”