Cougars Claw Past Tigers 64-48
By Pat Rupp
Lakeville South outscored Farmington 36-21 in the second half to defeat the Tigers 64-48 in a South Suburban Conference game played Tuesday night at Tiger Gym.
The loss snapped Farmington’s three game winning streak and left the Tigers 7-3 overall and 0-2 in early conference action.
“I thought we did some good things in the first half,” Tiger coach Tharen Johnson said, “but they (South) have a lot of size and when we face teams like that we have to knock down open shots. Forty-eight points aren’t going to be good enough to win games in this conference.”
The Tigers actually led almost all of the first half against the super-sized Cougars who started four players 6-3 or taller. Jameson Shrum opened the scoring with a three-pointer and the Tigers stayed in front until South made two free throws in the final 10 seconds to lead 28-27 at intermission.
Shooting was the big problem for Farmington over the first 18 minutes. The Tigers made just 10 of 31 shots from the floor in the half. Fortunately, eight of the 10 makes were from beyond the three-point arc. Adam Weed scored all of his 10 points in the first half to lead Farmington.
“We had plenty of good looks,” Johnson said. “We just didn’t knock them down.”
South’s size played a big part in the dominant second half but the Tigers contributed to their own woes with continued cold shooting and uncharacteristic mistakes.
“The thing that concerned me the most was our lack of playing fundamental basketball at times,” Johnson said. “Three or four times we didn’t block out on free throws and they got the rebound and another possession….South is a top four team in the conference but we need to execute better.”
As much as the Cougars size dominated the second half, the shooting of point-guard Cooper Jackson also haunted the Tigers. Jackson, who finished with a game-high 21 points, drained a trio of three-pointers after the break and another time made three straight free throws after being followed while shooting from long range.
South opened the second half with a 10-2 run to pull away and then went to a slow down game over the game’s final six-plus minutes. The Cougars led 56-48 with six minutes remaining and held Farmington scoreless the rest of the way.
The Tigers finished the night making just 19 of 56 shots for 33.0 percent with nine of the makes coming from long distance. South also had a big advantage at the foul line where it outscored the home team 15-2.
Weed and Shrum finished with 10 points apiece to lead the Farmington scoring. Zach Hedquist added nine. Miles Mendes led Farmington in the rebound department with eight.
The Tigers will have until next week to work on their shooting touch. They return to South Suburban Conference play next Tuesday when they travel to Shakopee to take on the Sabers. Next Friday they are back at Tiger Gym to entertain Eastview.