Girls Basketball: Tigers share first-ever Missota title with Shakopee, ChanhassenShelby Calhoun, Jamie Kenealy, Jordan Bridges, Elena Koch, Jessica Gaalswyk and Sarah Silber get to cap off their high school basketball careers as no other class of Farmington senior girls has — as Missota Conference champions.
By: Matt Steichen, The Farmington Independent
Shelby Calhoun, Jamie Kenealy, Jordan Bridges, Elena Koch, Jessica Gaalswyk and Sarah Silber get to cap off their high school basketball careers as no other class of Farmington senior girls has — as Missota Conference champions.
The Tigers (22-3) led from start to finish in Friday night’s regular season finale against conference co-leader New Prague and earned a share of the program’s first Missota Conference championship with a 56-37 thumping of the Trojans in front of a large Senior Night crowd at Tiger Gym.
Shakopee and Chanhassen joined Farmington as conference tri-champions. Shakopee won 58-35 at Northfield, while Chanhassen pulled away 80-67 at Red Wing.
New Prague, ranked sixth in Class 3A, managed just three field goals and 12 points in the first half and trailed by 16 at the break. The Trojans closed to within 41-30 with 5:16 remaining, but the Tigers responded with an 8-0 run that included a pair of jumpers from Kenealy, as well as putbacks by Koch and Bridges.
“Our kids did a great job of executing our game plan,” coach Jason Berg said. “One thing we wanted to do was really make it hard on their two best players on defense and attack them with the dribble on offense. We accomplished both.”
Koch led the Tigers with 17 points. Taylor Meyer added 14 points, Bridges scored 13 and Kenealy chipped in nine.
The foursome combined to shoot 64 percent (23 of 36) from the floor and grab 34 of the team’s 41 rebounds. Bridges notched another double-double by adding 11 boards, Koch and Meyer each hauled in eight and Kenealy brought down seven.
The Tigers earned the No. 1 seed in Section 1AAAA and will host the winner of Wednesday’s game between No. 4 Rochester Century and No. 5 Northfield at 7 p.m. Saturday night at Tiger Gym. They have gone a combined 3-0 against those teams this season and won by an average of more than 18 points per game.
The Tigers kept pace with the rest of the conference leaders by hanging on for a 48-47 road win at Chaska last Tuesday night.
Farmington led 22-21 at the break, then started the second half with a 9-0 run that featured seven of Meyer’s game-high 16 points. Chaska took back the lead at 42-40 with three minutes remaining, but Kenealy, Koch and Paige Steele combined to go 6 for 6 from the line after that to seal the win.
“We did what good teams do. We made plays on offense and defense down the stretch,” Berg said.
The Tigers shot just 31 percent from the floor and were out-rebounded, but committed just seven turnovers.
Kenealy joined Meyer in double figures with 12 points. Bridges added seven points and a team-high 10 rebounds and Koch chipped in five points and eight boards.