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Boys basketball: Balanced Tigers keep pace in Missota

Contributions from a multitude of players helped Farmington overcome a five-point second-half deficit and rally for a 72-68 win over defending Missota champion Chanhassen Friday night at Tiger Gym.

Mac Bassett scored a game-high 20 points and grabbed seven rebounds, and led five starters in double figures for Farmington, which improved to 10-6 overall and remained a game behind first-place Shakopee (5-0) with a league mark of 4-1.

The Tigers surged to a 25-16 lead in the streaky affair, but found themselves trailing 36-33 by halftime and 55-50 midway through the second half. They then pulled back ahead by seven courtesy of a 16-4 run, but Chanhassen tied the score back up at 68-all with a three-pointer in the final minute. Nick Varner countered with a basket on the next trip down the floor and the Tigers added a pair of free throws in the closing seconds to seal the win.

"I was happy with the boys' effort in gutting this one out," Farmington coach Shane Wyandt said. "We've been very happy with the way the boys have been coming out in games and executing early."

Varner finished with a solid all-around game, earning a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds, handing out five assists and grabbing five steals. He was joined in double figures by Eli Rockett, who scored 15 points and grabbed eight boards, Darren Beenken, who contributed all 13 of his points during the second half and hauled in seven boards, and Zach Speikers, who added 12.

The Tigers finished with a 37-23 advantage on the glass.

"We didn't shoot the ball tremendously well in this game, but our rebounding was keeping us in the game," Wyandt said. "We did a nice job on the glass on both ends of the floor and that was a key to victory in my mind."

The Tigers traveled to Chaska Tuesday night and are back home tomorrow night against first-place Shakopee. Tip-off at Tiger Gym is set for 7:30.