Irish Twins Double Trouble for Tigers
By Pat Rupp
When Farmington downed Rosemount 62-44 last month at Tiger Gym the Irish were without the services of 6-8 senior Alec Loehr who sat out with concussion-like symptoms.
In Friday night’s rematch at Rosemount, Alec and twin brother Luke provided a major headache for the Tigers, combining for 60 points and 19 rebounds in a 76-58 South Suburban Conference win for the Irish.
The loss was the seventh straight for Farmington which hasn’t dented the win column since a 68-59 non-conference victory at Fridley on Feb. 1. The Tigers are 8-16 overall and 3-13 in the South Suburban Conference with two games remaining in the regular season.
“We just didn’t have enough size to compete with both of them,” Tiger coach Tharen Johnson said. “Caden Freetly held up pretty well but we didn’t have the height to match up on the two of them. We tried some different things like trapping them down low and playing some zone but just couldn’t slow them down enough.”
Leading scorer Sam Wilson (ankle injury) and top rebounder Freetly (mononucleosis) were both back in the lineup for the Tigers, but Miles Mendes who did a solid defensive job against Luke Loehr in the first meeting of the two teams, was out due to illness.
““Caden was full go but his conditioning wasn’t all the way back after missing both games last week” Johnson said. “Sam played but did not have his full capabilities due to his ankle.”
Rosemount jumped to an early first half lead but after the Tigers battled back to within four points, the Irish put together a big closing run to lead 42-31 at intermission.
The Loehr’s dominance in the paint continued after intermission as the Tiger deficit remained in double digits the rest of the way.
“Right before halftime we did a poor job of getting back defensively in transition and Rosemount took advantage and got some easy buckets,” Johnson said.
“The second half it felt like we were always trying to play catch-up and not able to settle into any kind of rhythm. I thought our boys battled but we just didn’t play smart enough basketball at times.”
Alec Loehr led all scorers with 32 points, four more than bother Luke. No other Rosemount player scored more than five points.
Adam Weed had a season-high 19 points to lead the Farmington effort. Wilson had 14 and Freetly chipped in with 13.
“Adam played well,” Johnson said. “He was very aggressive taking the ball to the basket and knocked down some three’s. He also did a nice job on defense slowing down their point guard.”
The Irish scored 34 points in the paint and outrebounded Farmington by margin of 34-21. Freetly led the Tiger rebounders with six.
“We played much better as a team on offense, moving the ball and executing,” Johnson said. “We just didn’t do enough defensively to limit their two top players.”
The Tigers close out the 2016-17 regular season next week with a pair of South Suburban Conference games. Tuesday they entertain Prior Lake at Tiger Gym and Friday they travel to Lakeville South.