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Tigers boys' basketball wins Hastings Holiday Tournament

Senior Zach Hequist lays it in through contact during the win against Irondale. Alec Hamilton / RiverTown Multimedia

The Farmington Tigers boys' basketball team continued its strong play with two resounding wins over Irondale and Prescott in the Hastings Holiday Tournament. The Tigers defeated Irondale 81-61 in the first round on Thursday, Dec. 28, and then beat Prescott in the championship game 73-56. With the two wins, Farmington is now 6-2 overall (0-1) in the South Suburban Conference.

The first half against Irondale was very tight and physical on both sides. The Tigers trailed 23-21 with a couple minutes left in the second half before they caught fire towards the end of the half and led 35-30 after senior Brock Mogensen had a tip-in at the buzzer.

In the second half, Farmington ramped up the pressure with their press, something Irondale had no answer for, and the Tigers quickly increased their lead to 57-45 halfway through the second half. Irondale was never able to make a comeback and Farmington was able to win easily by 20.

Junior Miles Mendes led the Tigers with 18 points, most of which came in the paint or on some thunderous dunks. Junior Adam Weed had 13 points on very efficient three-point shooting while sophomore Gabe Bassett providing a spark in the second half with some sharp three-point shooting of his own.

In the championship game, the Tigers faced a very quick Prescott team led by senior point guard Peter Brookshaw, who was averaging about 30 points per game heading into the contest. The Tigers countered him and the Cardinals with an 1-3-1 zone that emphasized their length and gave Prescott fits. Farmington jumped out to a 25-11 lead thanks to the several turnovers its zone caused and led 37-15 at halftime. While Prescott played the Tigers closer in the second half, much of their scoring came in garbage time at the end of the game. Farmington won 73-56 and for much of the game it was not even that close.

Seniors Caden Freetly and Zach Hedquist each had 14 points, while junior Jameson Shrum added 12.

"I thought the first half against Irondale we kind of came out flat coming off the Christmas break and stuff," head coach Tharen Johnson said. "But after that we played some pretty good ball those last three halves. Guys are starting to figure it out offensively and defensively we tightened it up."

Johnson also said that playing in a tournament where you play back-to-back days is good preparation for later in the season.

"Ultimately if we want to get where we want to get in the state tournament you're gonna end up playing like that," he said.

The Tigers traveled to New Prague on Tuesday, Dec. 2, and then host Lakeville South on Thursday, Dec. 4.

Alec Hamilton

Alec Hamilton is a sports reporter and general assignment reporter at the Hastings Star Gazette. He is a journalism graduate of Drake University.

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