Boys basketball: Tigers hang on in finale
It was only fitting that the Farmington basketball team's final game of the regular season would be decided by one point and come down to the final second.
A 7-19 regular season that has featured 11 games decided by five points or fewer, four games decided by a single point and four more decided by two or three points concluded with a 63-62 road win Friday night at Red Wing. The difference-maker was a made free throw on the front end of a 1-and-1 by senior Kyle Wineklman with 0.9 seconds remaining.
"I thought we played pretty well on both sides of the ball against a team that was coming off three straight conference wins," Farmington coach Shane Wyandt said. "I thought we were pretty patient offensively and did a nice job of mixing things up defensively."
Winkelman and junior Alex Michels each finished with 16 points. Senior Mike Jolliff added 14 points and freshman Darren Beenken added eight.
The Tigers came out sharp the previous Tuesday in their final home game of the regular season, but 10th-ranked (Class 3A) Hutchinson overcame a 34-31 halftime deficit to secure a 63-49 win. It was the final Missota matchup between the two teams as Hutchinson will join the Wright County Conference in the fall.
Farmington struggled both handling and shooting the ball in the second half, committing the bulk of their 19 turnovers and making just five of 27 shots.
"The shooting was huge but I think their physical play really wore us down which reflected our poor shooting and turnovers," Wyandt said.
Senior Connor Duffy led the Tigers with 17 points. Winkelman added 15 points and Michels and Kyle Hinrichsen each scored six.
The Tigers earned a fifth seed and a Wednesday night first-round section playoff road game at No. 4 Rochester Mayo (10-15), one of the teams they lost to by five points, 79-74, back in December. The winner will travel south to take on top-seeded Owatonna in Saturday night's semifinals.