Shakopee Outlasts Tigers Again | by Pat Rupp

Shakopee Outlasts Tigers Again

by Pat Rupp

For the second time this season the Tigers came up just short against a young Shakopee team, this time in a 50-44 South Suburban Conference defeat Tuesday night at Shakopee. The Sabers prevailed 69-61 when the teams met earlier at Tiger Gym.

“I wouldn’t say it was a fast-paced game but the low score had more to do with pretty good defense being played by both teams,” Farmington coach Tharen Johnson said. “I thought we played tough defense and rebounded very well in the first half.

“In the second half we were not executing on offense. Our spacing was terrible and we didn’t show enough mental toughness…We started letting them get multiple shots on offense. Their offensive rebounds got the crowd into it and pushed the momentum in their favor.”

The first half was a defensive battle between Shakopee’s sagging zone and Farmington’s man-to-man. The Sabers led early before a pair of Adam Weed three-pointers gave the visitors the edge at 15-13. The teams were deadlocked at 17-17 before Farmington closed the half on a 6-2 run to take a four-point lead to intermission.

Farmington hurt itself with poor first half shooting, finishing the first 18 minutes hitting just nine of 26 field goal tries.

Kole Hinrichsen nailed a three-pointer to start the second half to give the Tigers their biggest lead of the night at 26-19 but from there it was a downhill ride. Continued sub-par shooting and some costly turnovers turned the game around.

After a Shakopee rally, Jameson Shrum’s basket gave the visitors their last lead of the night at 32-30 before the Sabers went on a 17-5 run that would decide the outcome.

“Unfortunately we had too many turnovers again,” Johnson said. “We were getting good shots but were not knocking them down.”

The Tigers finished the second half making just eight of 23 from the floor and their game shooting percentage of 34.7 was one of their lowest of the season. Farmington was especially off from long range, converting just six of 24 tries.

Leading scorer Sam Wilson again topped the Farmington charts with 15 points, well below his season average of 22.1. Weed added 14, including four three-pointers.

“Shakopee did some things to slow Sam down,” Johnson said. “They started in a 2-3 zone which limited his ability to drive. They also were sending double teams at him when he was catching the ball around the basket. Sam needs to make the adjustment better in those situations and become a playmaker to set up his teammates.

“Adam (Weed) was one guy who was confidently catching the ball and shooting it. He had a pretty good offensive game for us and played well defensively too.”

Farmington won the rebound battle 33-29 with Miles Mendes leading the way with eight, all on the defensive end. Hinrichsen finished the night with seven boards.

The Tigers committed 16 turnovers although they led to just seven Shakopee points. Thirty-two of the Sabers’ points came in the paint and they outshot their guests from the free throw line by a decisive 13-4.

Farmington will try to get back on the winning track Friday night when they play host to Eagan in a South Suburban Conference contest at Tiger Gym.

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