Girls baskeball: Tigers are one game from stateTrailing 10-8 six minutes into Saturday night’s Section 1AAAA semifinals, the Farmington girls basketball team didn’t panic. Instead, the Tigers held Rochester Century scoreless for the next nine minutes and went on a 22-2 run that put them control in an eventual 64-29 rout at Tiger Gym that moved them within a game of the program’s first state tournament berth.
By: Matt Steichen, The Farmington Independent
Trailing 10-8 six minutes into Saturday night’s Section 1AAAA semifinals, the Farmington girls basketball team didn’t panic.
Instead, the Tigers held Rochester Century scoreless for the next nine minutes and went on a 22-2 run that put them control in an eventual 64-29 rout at Tiger Gym that moved them within a game of the program’s first state tournament berth.
“We started out slow. Century mixed up defenses a little and it took a little bit to adjust,” Farmington coach Jason Berg said. “At the beginning of the (22-2) run Century was playing zone and we really did a good job of getting to the offensive boards.”
The Tigers (23-3) finished with 13 offensive rebounds, seven of which turned into putback baskets by Jordan Bridges and Taylor Meyer in the first half. Meyer finished 9 of 14 from the floor en route to a game-high 23 points and grabbed 11 rebounds.
Bridges added 20 points on 7 of 9 shooting and hauled in 11 rebounds for her second straight double-double. Jamie Kenealy added eight points and Elena Koch tacked on five points and seven rebounds.
The Tigers pulled ahead 35-15 by halftime and used another 11-0 run to take a 31-point advantage into the final 12 minutes. During that stretch, the Panthers managed just two shot attempts and turned the ball over seven times.
Century leading scorer, Kanini Asuncion, entered averaging 11.2 points per game, but was limited to three free throws by the defense of Farmington guards Isis Alexander and Shelby Calhoun. The Panthers finished with just 10 field goals and turned the ball over 25 times.
The Tigers, now winners of seven in a row, will play for their first Class 4A State Tournament appearance Friday night when they take on No. 2 seed Rochester Mayo (20-6) at Rochester Recreation Center. The Spartans lost 63-38 in their first matchup with Farmington Dec. 21 in Rochester, but have since gone 17-3. Their latest victory, their ninth in a row, came in last Saturday’s Section 1AAAA semifinals when they overcame an 18-point second-half deficit to defeat Owatonna, 32-31.
The winner of Friday night’s game will open play in the Class 4A State Tournament next Wednesday at Target Center in Minneapolis.
Of Rochester Mayo’s six losses, two have come against teams Farmington has beaten this season. The Spartans lost 64-53 to a Rosemount team Farmington beat 54-42. They also fell 44-39 to a Century team Farmington topped twice by a combined 56 points.
Mayo’s last three losses have come against White Bear Lake, Rochester Lourdes and Mankato East, three teams with a combined record of 68-17 so far this season.
By the numbers
Saturday night’s game was the third time this season Farmington has held an opponent under 30 points. The Tigers kept Faribault to 25 points and Holy Angels to 26 points.
The Tigers have allowed 1,036 points in 26 games this season, an average of 39.8 points per game. They’re 12-0 in games where they have given up 40 points or fewer and 11-3 in the games where they have allowed 41 points or more.
Rochester Mayo averages 52.8 points per game and allows 44 points per game.
Meyer leads Farmington with an averages of 14.5 points and eight rebounds per game. Saturday night was her fifth 20-point game and her ninth double-double.
Bridges is second on the team in both points per game (11.1) and rebounds per game (7.8).