Matt Steichen has been the sports editor at the Farmington Independent and Rosemount Town Pages since 2007. He holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism and mass communications from Briar Cliff University in Sioux City, Iowa. He has previously been a sports writer at the Sioux City Journal and Le Mars Daily Sentinel and the sports editor at the Austin Daily Herald.
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Close games haven't been kind to Farmington over the last couple of years. Entering last week, the Tigers were 6-15 in their last 21 games decided by single digits. That dated back to a 53-51 section tournament loss to Winona at the end of the 2008-09 season. The Tigers finally saw some late-game breaks start to fall in their favor -- and some late-game shots fall through the basket -- last week as they scored a pair of one-point Missota Conference wins over Holy Angels and Northfield.
What a difference a healthy Krystal Baumann can make. With Baumann playing through an illness Tuesday night, the Farmington girls hockey team as a whole looked "sick, tired and out of it," according to head coach Jon Holmes, in a 5-1 loss to second-ranked (Class 1A) Blake at Schmitz-Maki Arena. Three days later, a healthier Baumann scored four goals as the Tigers continued their perfect run through the Missota Conference with a 5-0 shutout win in Red Wing. "At the Blake game, Baumann came into the game barely able to stand," Holmes said.
A career night from Taylor Meyer helped Farmington keep pace with Shakopee in the Missota Conference race. Meyer scored a season-high 27 points as the Tigers improved to 13-1 overall and 4-1 in the league with a 67-44 blowout of rival Northfield Friday night in Northfield. Shakopee knocked off previously-unbeaten Farmington last week and is now 5-0 atop the standings. The Tigers pulled away with a 24-10 run over the final 10 minutes of the first half. Meyer scored 12 points during that stretch and finished 12 of 16 from the field, including 3 of 3 from beyond the three-point arc.
A wealth of talent and depth helped the Farmington boys swimming and diving team rise above the rest of the five-team field at Saturday's Section 1AA True Team Championships. The Tigers won four events, notched 11 other top-five finishes and scored 797 points to capture their first true team championship at Northfield Middle School.
Girls basketball Farmington 58, Chaska 37 The Tigers held Chaska to 14 first-half points and moved into a tie for first place in the Missota Conference with a 21-point win at Tiger Gym Tuesday night. The team's third straight win improved it to 14-1 overall and 5-1 in the league along with Shakopee, which fell 59-48 Tuesday night in Red Wing. Jordan Bridges led the Tigers with 15 points.
Boys basketball Farmington 50, Northfield 49 (OT) Farmington evened its record at 7-7 with its second straight one-point Missota Conference victory Friday night at Tiger Gym. The Tigers led 31-18 at halftime, but scored just 14 second-half points as Northfield rallied to force overtime.
Farmington accumulated 357.5 points in earning a second-place finish at the nine-team South St. Paul Invitational Saturday at Central Square Community Center. Cambridge-Isanti won the meet with 414 points. Hastings was third with 319 points, followed by River Falls (Wis.), South St. Paul, St. Louis Park, Tartan, St. Cloud Apollo and St. Paul Como Park. Senior Tyler Magalis had another solid meet, placing first in the 1-meter dive and second in the 50 freestyle.
Five New Prague players found the net during the second period of Friday night's Missota Conference boys hockey game at Schmitz-Maki Arena. In all, six players scored goals as the balanced Trojans stayed tied atop the Missota Conference standings with a 7-1 win over Farmington. "No excuses, we needed to be more physical and play with greater energy and discipline in the defensive zone," Farmington coach Keith Revels said.
A physical Shakopee team made life tough for Farmington on both ends of the court during Friday's Missota Conference opener at Tiger Gym. The Sabers established a 33-15 rebounding advantage, forced 26 turnovers and held the Tigers to 27 percent shooting from the field during a 70-37 win. "They were playing without their starting center too, which added insult to injury there," Farmington coach Shane Wyandt said. "It's like a broken record, but we have to rebound and we were horrendous at that. And we have to shoot the basketball decently and take care of the ball.
Ninth-ranked Farmington got beat at its own game Friday night. The previously-unbeaten Tigers played their usual suffocating defense, but Shakopee's was even better. The Sabers, playing in front of an enthusiastic home crowd, allowed just 12 points in the second half and forced 21 turnovers as they improved to 3-0 in the Missota Conference with a 41-34 win. "It was a great high school game. Good crowd, lots of energy," Farmington coach Jason Berg said.