Tigers Still Singing Second Half Blues
By Pat Rupp
For the second consecutive game the Tigers saw a halftime lead turn sour, this time in a 64-54 South Suburban Conference loss to Burnsville Tuesday night at Tiger Gym.
The loss was the fourth straight for Farmington and dropped its season record to 8-13 and its South Suburban mark to 3-10.
“We were good defensively in the first half,” Farmington coach Tharen Johnson said, “but not enough offense or execution in the second half.
“We had guys who worked hard on the court but our basketball IQ just isn’t very high right now. We aren’t executing plays and our young guys aren’t making good decisions when the defense takes away the first option on offense. We aren’t patient enough or we aren’t taking care of the ball well enough to keep running offense until we get a quality shot.”
The start of Tuesday night’s contest looked like a Xeroxed copy of last Friday night’s road loss to Eagan. Neither team shot the ball very well and turnovers hurt both sides. The Tigers committed 11 of their game total of 16 miscues in the first half.
Still, they managed to use a 12-3 run paced by three-pointers by Adam Weed and Kole Hinrichsen to turn a five-point deficit to a four-point lead. Sam Wilson banked in a long three-pointer at the halftime buzzer to give the home team a 28-23 lead at the break.
Early second half hoops by Weed and Brock Mogensen gave the Tigers their biggest edge of the night at 32-25 before the wheels started to come off the wagon.
The Blaze started finding the range from long distance and finally took back the lead at 37-34 on a deep three. Farmington never led again.
After Burnsville upped its advantage to 54-43 with six minutes to play in regulation the home team put together a frenetic 9-0 spurt on a three-pointer from Weed and baskets by Mogensen, Wilson and Jarrett Hunt to make it a two-point game but could never get over the hump. The Blaze outscored the Tigers down the stretch 10-2.
“This stretch of games has been very frustrating,” Johnson said. There’s not a lot of guys stepping up. Our team defense has been pretty good but we are struggling to score.”
The Tigers played Burnsville without the services of top rebounder Caden Freetly who was out with an illness and Wilson was playing less than 100 percent after missing Monday’s practice for the same reason.
Wilson had 15 points and Weed 13 to top Farmington scorers. Miles Mendes lead the rebounding effort with seven boards. Wilson and Hinrichsen each had five.
Of all the statistics, however, the one that stood out the most was shooting percentage where the Tigers made just 21 of 56 shots from the field for 39.7 percent. They were even colder from behind the three-point line, connecting on just six of 20 attempts (30 percent).
Things don’t get any easier on Friday when the Tigers resume their South Suburban Conference schedule at state-rated Lakeville North. The Panthers rolled to a 104-71 win when the teams met in Farmington last month.