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Boys basketball: Tigers knock off No. 4 Holy Angels

Farmington's Mac Bassett dribbles through the lane during the first half of the Tigers' win over Holy Angels Friday night.

Big scoring runs to start each half propelled Farmington past fourth-ranked (Class 3A) Holy Angels 84-76 in a battle of top Missota Conference teams Friday night at Tiger Gym.

The Tigers jumped out of the gate with a 15-2 run and maintained a double-figure lead throughout a first half that ended with the score 40-28.

"We've had some solid starts so far in the conference schedule and last (Friday) was about as good as we could ask for," Farmington coach Shane Wyandt said. "I thought we played very well on both sides of the floor and rebounded extremely well."

That solid play continued into the second half. The Tigers opened with a 15-5 spurt to move ahead 55-33.

That's when the Stars turned up their intensity. They used a full-court press and physical play to force the Tigers into several turnovers, and whittled the home team's lead down to 73-68 in the final minutes.

"We had trouble as they amped up their pressure and we didn't have everyone on the same page.... I thought the game got a little out of hand physically and unfortunately Holy Angels was capitalizing on that in the second half," Wyandt said. "We talked to our guys about being strong with the ball and being able to handle those situations if fouls aren't being called."

The Stars had to foul with time running out on their rally, and the Tigers took advantage by knocking down 7 of 8 free throws in the final minute. They finished 15 of 18 in the game.

Mac Bassett paced three Tigers in double figures with 24 points on 10 of 15 shooting and seven rebounds. Darren Beenken added 18 points and Zach Speikers chipped in 14 points and seven boards.

Eli Rockett and Nick Varner did the dirty work in the paint. Rockett scored nine points and hauled in a team-high 13 rebounds and Varner scored six points and grabbed nine rebounds.

Jordan DeCroock added a season-high eight points off the bench and Alex Chadwick had five points and three steals.

The Tigers (9-6, 3-1) resume their conference slate tomorrow night at home against last-place Chanhassen. Next week they travel to Chaska before returning home to face first-place Shakopee next Friday.

"I was extremely pleased with our team effort and hopefully we can continue to improve throughout the remainder of the conference schedule," Wyandt said. "Most of the teams in our conference have been top 10 ranked at some point in either 3A or 4A and the others who haven't been have knocked off one or more ranked teams, so it shows you just how difficult it will be in our league this year on a nightly basis."