Boys basketball: Looking for answers
Farmington has been at a size disadvantage in just about every game it has played this year. That was once again the case Saturday night in Chaska.
The 10th-ranked Hawks got 23 points apiece from 6-foot-7 juniors Ross Travis and Jake White and turned a commanding 53-32 halftime advantage into a 92-71 non-conference win, their sixth win in a row. Next season the teams will square off twice as Chaska is set to join the Missota Conference starting in the fall.
"(It was) not just their size, but their skill," Farmington coach Shane Wyandt said. "They were tough to stop."
The Tigers, now losers of nine in a row, were outrebounded 37-27, but improved on the glass in the second half and played to a 39-39 tie over the final 18 minutes.
Connor Duffy led four Farmington players in double figures with 15 points. Michael Jolliff added one of his best all-around games of the season, scoring 13 points, grabbing seven rebounds and six steals and handing out a team-high five assists.
Kyle Winkelman also had 13 points, four assists and four steals and junior forward Alex Michels dropped in 12 points and grabbed five boards. Kyle Hinrichsen and Josh Ruthenbeck each matched his five rebounds.
The Tigers executed their offense well in last Tuesday's home date with Hill-Murray, but they couldn't connect from beyond the three-point arc in a 72-67 loss.
The team hit just five of the 36 shots it launched from three-point range. The final miss came with 16 seconds left when Justin Lavey drove to the baseline and kicked out to Duffy, who couldn't drop in the potential game-tying shot.
"Normally you would think 36 would be too high and they were bad shots, but looking back only three of the 36 were rushed shots," Wyandt said. "They gave us wide open looks from three, but we just couldn't hit."
While the perimeter players struggled, Michels emerged with a career-high 20 points on 9 of 14 shooting, while also grabbing nine rebounds and blocking four shots.
Duffy added 13 points and seven rebounds, Lavey scored 11 and grabbed six steals, Winkelman chipped in 10 points and eight assists and Jolliff provided six points and seven rebounds, but the quartet of senior guards combined to go 3 of 31 from long range.
The Tigers, now 2-9, open up Missota Conference play this week. They traveled to Shakopee Tuesday and will be back home tomorrow night to take on Prior Lake. Tip-off is set for 7:30 p.m.