Blaze Burn Tigers at Home | by Pat Rupp

Blaze Burn Tigers at Home

by Pat Rupp

Farmington’s modest two-game win streak ended with a thud Friday night in a 71-51 South Suburban Conference loss to Burnsville at Tiger Gym.

The defeat dropped the Tigers to 9-5 overall and 2-4 in South Suburban play. The Blaze are also 2-4 in league action and just 3-11 for the season.

“We were outworked by Burnsville all night,” Farmington coach Tharen Johnson said. “They were the more physical and tougher team from start to finish.

“They deserved the win. We settled for quick, easy outside shots instead of sharing the ball and working it inside.”

Adam Weed drained a three-pointer for the first points of the game but Burnsville scored the next seven to take an early lead. After another Weed bucket the winners rattled off another nine straight to forge a 16-5 advantage.

A defensive change from man-to-man to a 1-3-1 zone got the home team back in the game, however. That change along with a trio of late three-pointers, two by Jarret Hutt, made it just a two-point game at intermission at 24-22.

“We had too many turnovers in the first half and we took too many bad shots,” Johnson said.

The game stayed competitive for the first few minutes of the second half but then another Burnsville run, this one a 10-0 spurt, stretched the Tiger deficit to 19 points from which there was no return.

“They made some adjustments to our zone in the second half,” Johnson said, “and we didn’t handle them well.”

Shooting was again an issue for Farmington. The Tigers shot just 34 percent from the field and were a frigid five for 30 (20 percent) from behind the three-point arc.

As if those numbers weren’t enough of a concern, the Tigers were outshot from the free throw line 22-6 as Farmington finished the night with a season-high 24 personal fouls. The Tigers also turned the ball over 17 times in the contest.

Burnsville also won the battle of the glass, out-rebounding Farmington by a 32-26 count.

The Blaze relied on a two-man band offense with Ty Miklowski (30) and Marcus Shepley (19) combing for 49 points, two more than the entire Farmington team.

“We did not have an answer for Miklowski,” Johnson said. “He hurt us from the outside with our guys not knowing where he was and contesting his shot and then he was tougher than any of our defenders down low getting inside shots. Not a good effort on our part.”

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Jamer Strum paced Farmington scorers with 13 points with Hunt and Zach Hedquist each adding nine. Brock Mogensen chipped in with seven.

Miles Mendes and Gabe Bassett led the Farmington rebounding effort with six and five boards respectively. Mendes and Caden Freetly each dished out three assists.

“We got out-played, out-coached, and out-worked,” Johnson said. “It shows what happens in this conference when you don’t show up focused. It doesn’t matter who the opponent is; you can lose. I hope our players learn that from this loss.”

Things don’t get any easier for the Tigers with a date at league-leading Lakeville North slated for next Tuesday night followed by a trip to state-rated Apple Valley on Friday.

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