Girls basketball: Tigers start '11 with perfect 10
A day after debuting at No. 9 in the Class 4A rankings, the undefeated Farmington girls basketball team showed it belonged.
The Tigers, facing their first ranked opponent of the season in third-rated (Class 3A) Red Wing, established a 28-23 lead by halftime and held on for a 61-57 victory Thursday night at Tiger Gym.
Red Wing led 21-18 late in the first half before the home team closed with a 10-2 scoring run. Taylor Meyer scored several baskets during that stretch and finished with a game-high 20 points and 10 rebounds.
"I thought Red Wing got tired, especially at the end of the first half when we were able to get the lead just before halftime," Farmington coach Jason Berg said. "I think our depth is always key. Our bench players get a lot of time -- so if they need to play we have confidence they can go in and do their job and not have a drop off. Over a 36-minute game, playing nine players pays off."
The Tigers didn't play a flawless game. They turned the ball over 22 times and shot just 33 percent from the floor, but they held Red Wing to 31 percent shooting and outscored the Wingers by seven at the free-throw line.
"We did a pretty good job of handling their pressure -- we were able to attack it and get some easy shots or get to the foul line," Berg said. "I know we turned it over a little too much, but in the balance we did a pretty good job of getting through it."
The Wingers took a one-point lead early in the second half, but three-pointers by Shelby Calhoun and Isis Alexander gave the Tigers the lead for good. Paige Steele iced the game with four straight free throws in the final minute.
Calhoun finished with eight points and four rebounds and Steele added eight points and 12 rebounds. Jordan Bridges hauled in nine rebounds and Elena Koch chipped in eight as the Tigers established a 55-36 rebounding advantage.
Alexander joined Meyer in double figures with 11 points and six rebounds.
The Tigers will put a 10-0 record on the line next Tuesday at Chanhassen.
The Tigers limited Faribault to eight field goals and allowed a season-low 25 points in last Tuesday's 68-25 rout of the Falcons at Tiger Gym.
Twelve players got on the stat sheet for Farmington, which started the game on a 22-4 run and led 34-10 by halftime. Meyer tallied another double-double with 17 points, including 12 in the first half, and 10 rebounds.
Alexander drilled three three-pointers on her way to scoring 14 points and Bridges added 10 points and six boards.
Jamie Kenealy scored six points and dished out five assists and Mariah Mincke had eight points and four rebounds.
Bridges signs letter
Jordan Bridges has signed a Letter of Intent to enroll at Jamestown College and play basketball for the Jimmies. She is the daughter of Mark and Meghan Bridges.
Bridges is averaging 14.1 points and 6.9 rebounds per game.
"We are happy that Jordan has decided to become a Jimmie," coach Greg Ulland said. "She is currently having a great year offensively, averaging over 14 points per game. She brings something we currently don't have here and that is a true shot blocker. Jordan is long, athletic and multidimensional on the basketball floor. We look forward to using her talents in many different ways."