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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Injuries to four starters -- Darren Beenken, Nick Varner, Austin Bassett and Mac Bassett -- left the Farmington boys basketball team short on experience during its two Missota Conference games last week. Beenken and Mac Bassett missed last Tuesday's home game against Chanhassen and Varner and Austin Bassett were out of the lineup Friday at Red Wing as the Tigers saw their losing streak stretch to four games with matching 77-55 losses. "We are really struggling right now. It has really been a struggle plugging guys into new roles and really testing them," Farmington coach Shane Wyandt said.
The Farmington gymnastics team is peaking at just the right time. With the Missota Conference championships coming up tomorrow night and the Section 3AA meet slated for next week, the Tigers ran out a healthy lineup last Friday and established a new season-high team score in a 141.625-135.675 league victory over Chaska-Chanhassen at the Instructional Services Center. "These girls are really looking good," Farmington coach Lynn Bauman said. "We have been working very hard in the gym and it's starting to show. I am so excited for the girls.
The Farmington girls basketball team went 2-5 in its first trip through the Missota Conference. The second run through the schedule began Friday night and gave the Tigers reason to think they will have more success this time around. Four players scored in double figures as the Tigers avenged a two-point loss to Red Wing with a 66-58 victory at Tiger Gym. "This was a great team effort. We played tough team defense, rebounded well and maintained our composure when the game was on the line," said coach Sondra Chadwick, whose team is 4-2 since starting the season 1-12.
Injuries and illnesses left the Farmington wrestling team without five starters during a pair of meets last week. The Tigers fell to New Prague (57-19) and Chaska-Chanhassen (54-12) in a Missota Conference double dual last Thursday at Tiger Gym, and then lost to Lakeville North (45-25) and New Richmond-HEG (57-21) before defeating a JV team made up of wrestlers from various teams Friday night at the Panther Duals in Lakeville. "We gave Lakeville North the best dual of the tourney, despite missing five starters. They will be the No. 3 seed in our section," Farmington coach Chad Olson said.
Generating offense has been a season-long struggle for the Farmington girls hockey team. The team finished second to last in the Missota Conference with an average of 1.6 goals per game. The Tigers scored just six goals in their five-game losing streak before breaking out with four scores in a 4-1 league victory over rival Northfield in last Thursday's regular season finale. The Tigers finished with an overall record of 9-16. They went 5-7 in the league, good enough for fifth out of seven teams, and earned the No. 5 seed in Section 1AA, advancing them to an opening-round game at No.
Chaska-Chanhassen finished 1-2-3 in the 500 freestyle and went on to win four of the last five events in a 92-89 Missota Conference dual win over Farmington last Thursday at Chaska Middle School East. The Tigers won four races and set four personal bests in their final meet before Saturday's Missota Conference Championships in Northfield. The first victory came from Christopher Kirchmann, who topped the field in the 50 freestyle with a personal-record time of 22.85 seconds. That ended a string of three straight first-place finishes for the StormHawks as they built an early 30-16 advantage.
Make it seven one-goal losses this season for the Farmington boys hockey team. That number went up by two last week when the Tigers were on the short end of a pair of 3-2 overtime Missota Conference setbacks. They hung with a Holy Angels team that blew them out 10-0 earlier this season last Tuesday, and then lost another one-goal squeaker at home Friday night to a Northfield squad they played to a 2-2 tie in early January. "The boys played hard, but came up on the short end again," Farmington coach Keith Revels said.
Bonus points were the difference in Farmington's dual loss to Faribault Friday night. The Falcons won seven matches to the Tigers' six, but five of those seven earned bonus points in a 36-26 decision. Farmington won the first three matches, a 17-2 technical fall by Taylor Venz, an 8-2 decision by Jacob Gabbard and a pin by Matt Rustad. Faribault then won seven of the final 10 matches, including five by fall. Brayden Chapman claimed a 5-2 decision for Farmington at 132 pounds, Joe Hoeve was a 9-5 decision winner at 160 and Dakoda Louis-Dupay won by fall at 220 pounds.
The Tigers turned in their second-lowest scoring output of the season in a 52-37 Missota Conference loss at New Prague. Austin Bassett led Farmington with 11 points.
A three-point loss may have been more evidence of improvement than a 50-point win for the Farmington girls basketball team last week. The Tigers, who sported a record of 1-12 just over two weeks ago, ran their winning streak to three games with a 76-26 blowout over winless Faribault on the road last Tuesday. The team returned home Friday night and led by as many as 12 points in the second half before bowing out 59-56 to a 12-6 New Prague team. The home team was left with several positives to take away from the game, despite the result.