Farmington girls' basketball falls one game short of state tournament
The Farmington Tigers girls' basketball team lost just one game away from moving on to the Minnesota State High School League's state tournament. The Tigers fell 65-43 to Lakeville North in the section 1AAAA championship game at the Mayo Civic Center in Rochester. This was the first time that section runners-up Farmington had played in a section championship game in years and puts a cap on a great 19-10 season, including the playoffs.
The two teams met twice during the regular season, with North taking both games, a tight game at Farmington and a 13-point game in Lakeville. However, the Tigers started this third matchup like those previous games were not even on the radar. Farmington started the game with an 11-5 lead just five minutes in and expanded that lead to double digits. Early on, junior center Kaitlin Winston was critical as she scored down in the post and from mid-range, along with a couple blocked shots.
However, Lakeville North answered with a run of their own to tie the game at 19. From there, the Panthers took control of the game with the Tigers amidst a scoring drought. Farmington began to turn the ball over way too much as North jumped the passing lanes and the Tigers trailed 33-25 at halftime.
The second half continued like the end of the first half with Farmington committing way too many turnovers and giving up too many easy baskets. Foul trouble for a couple of Farmington's main contributors did not help matters and Lakeville North built a 22-point lead midway through the half. The Tigers were able to make a small run to cut the lead to 16 with three minutes left but that is as close as they got. Lakeville North won 65-43 with reserves playing the last minute.
Winston led the Tigers with 12 points as she helped carry them in the first half. Senior Ellie Clayton was a competitor until the end, adding 10 points and fouling out with just a couple minutes left. Sophomore Molly Mogensen had eight points and will return next year as part of an experienced team that brings back much of this year's contributors.
Graduating this spring are Ellie Clayton, Christine Steffes, Lexi Laube, Samantha Wiebold, Tarah DeCroock, Sydney Blandin and Delayna Ponds.
Check back later for comments from head coach Liz Carpentier and the team.