A Foul Loss in Rochester
by Pat Rupp
A quick glance at the stat sheet from Tuesday night’s non-conference game at Rochester Mayo showed the Tigers having the better of the numbers in all but a couple of categories. Farmington finished with more field goals, more rebounds, more points off turnovers, more points in the paint, more transition points, more assists and fewer turnovers.
But two big numbers proved the difference in the 61-56 loss for the Tigers—personal fouls and points on free throws. For the second time in as many games Farmington committed an eye-catching 25 infractions that resulted in an 11-point differential at the charity stripe. The Spartans made 16 of 27 at the line while the visitors converted just five of 11 attempts.
Cold Tiger shooting was also a factor in the outcome, especially in the opening half. Farmington (1-1) cashed in on just nine of 36 tries (25%) over the first 18 minutes and trailed 27-23 at intermission.
The Tigers jumped to an early 6-3 lead but a 14-0 spurt by the Spartans gave them a lead they would hold all the way to the break.
Early second half baskets by Miles Mendes, Adam Weed and Zach Hedquist pulled the Tigers even at 29-29 but another Mayo mini-run, this one an 8-0 eruption, ran the deficit back up to eight.
Jarrett Hunt canned a three-pointer later in the half to give Farmington a 43-42 lead and the visitors would stretch that margin to 48-45 on another Hunt trey before the foul trouble kicked into high gear.
Mayo would go onto score 16 more points in the contest with 10 of them coming from the foul line.
“We got into foul trouble again,” Farmington coach Tharen Johnson said. “Some of them were our fault and were not smart decisions. Some others were very questionable calls by one particular official…We also had a no call on an offensive goaltending that ended up being a big two points for them.”
Even with the endless trip to the Mayo free throw line, Farmington held its last lead at 51-50 before managing just two field goals the rest of the way.
“Our kids battled back and we had the lead toward the end of the game,” Johnson said. “Jarrett hit some big three’s in the comeback. But we couldn’t get stops when we needed to and they got bailed out by shooting free throws down the stretch.”
Johnson said he was encouraged by his team’s defense against Mayo’s sophomore twin combo of Gabe and Mason Madsen, both considered top-level post-high school recruits.
“Caden (Freetly), Jamer (Shrum), and Adam (Weed) all did a nice job on them,” he said. “But then we let two kids off their bench do some damage against us that didn’t help.”
Mendes put together a statistical double-double for Farmington in the loss, scoring 10 points and pulling down 13 rebounds. Hunt had nine points on a trio of three-pointers. Shrum scored eight points to go with seven assists and six rebounds. Freetly also tallied eight along with seven boards and five assists.
The Tigers don’t have much time to dwell on the loss as they entertain Minnetonka Thursday night at Tiger Gym.
“We need to be more disciplined offensively and defensively if we are going to compete with Minnetonka,” Johnson said.