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Boys basketball: Sabers set the pace over Tigers

Back-to-back games against first-place Shakopee figured to be a difficult test for the Farmington basketball team.

It proved to be one the Tigers could not pass. In the first meeting last Tuesday at Tiger Gym, Shakopee held Farmington to its lowest point total since January of 2005 in a 54-29 blowout. Friday’s rematch wasn’t as sloppy, but the result was the same as the Sabers won their ninth straight and improved to 8-0 in the Missota Conference with a 62-50 win.

The Tigers fell behind 33-23 by halftime on Friday, but started the second half with a 10-2 run to get back within a basket. Shakopee responded with eight straight points and closed the game with a 27-17 spurt to pull away.

“I thought we adjusted and played with a lot of energy and grit in the second half, but we spent so much energy getting back into the game that we just fell short at the end,” Farmington coach Shane Wyandt said. “They hit some big shots and we went cold from the perimeter. They just outplayed us.”

Zach Speikers made three three-pointers and led the Tigers with 16 points. He had averaged over 30 per game over four games before being held to four by the Sabers earlier in the week.

Eli Rockett added 14 points and four rebounds.

On Tuesday, the Tigers followed up a cold-shooting first half with a 12-point second half. Rockett led the team with 12 points and no one else had more than five.

Nick Varner led the team with eight rebounds.

“We just never got any flow going on the offensive end,” Wyandt said. “After missing a bunch of open shots inside early, we started settling for outside shots and we shot very poorly the entire game. Shakopee is very good on the glass and is comfortable playing a slow-paced game. We let them dictate the pace of play all night and never got anything going.”

The Tigers (14-6) now sit alone in fourth place in the conference standings with a record of 4-4. They took on Chaska at home Wednesday and travel to Red Wing tomorrow night.