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Boys basketball: Rockets blast off in second half against Farmington

Farmington senior Alex Chadwick goes in for a lay up during the Tigers' season opener against Rochester John Marshall Friday at Tiger Gym.

Farmington got out to a good start, but Rochester John Marshall had an even stronger finish in Friday night's season opener at Tiger Gym.

The Tigers started the game with an 18-3 run, but the Rockets snuck back within 11 by halftime and then scored a whopping 57 points in the second half to rally for an 85-70 victory.

"In the first half we struggled shooting, but made up for it with our defense and rebounding. That led to a quick transition game, which gave us a number of lay-ups off the break," Farmington coach Shane Wyandt said. "In the second half they adjusted and did a better job taking away our transition game and forced us to hit jump shots. We continued to struggle from the outside and they got back into the game."

The Rockets wasted no time getting back in the game after halftime, going on a 20-8 run to take the lead at 49-47. The Tigers soon fell behind by 10 points, but three three-pointers by Zach Speikers helped tie the score back up at 68-68 with under five minutes remaining.

That's when the Rockets blasted away, scoring 17 straight points in a four-minute stretch to pull back ahead, 85-68.

"They really improved on defense in the second half,"?Wyandt said. "They also really flipped the script and controlled the glass."

Johnny Dittman led a balanced Farmington scoring attack with 12 points. Eli Rockett and Nick Varner added a pair of double-doubles, with Rockett scoring 11 points and grabbing 11 rebounds and Varner 10 points and 11 boards.

Speikers scored nine points and Alex Chadwick had eight.

"It looked like a typical first game with two fairly evenly-matched teams. We saw a lot of good things and potential in our team, but we also saw a number of things that we must improve on," Wyandt said. "We struggled shooting the basketball and I think as that continued through the night we got discouraged and let it affect other parts of our game."

The Tigers hosted another Section 1 team - Rochester Mayo - on Tuesday night and they return to Tiger Gym tomorrow night to take on Hastings.