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Girls basketball: Tigers ousted by top-seeded North, 57-37

Farmington girls basketball coach Liz Carpentier was pleased with her team’s defense in last Wednesday’s Section 1AAAA tournament opener. The Tigers just couldn’t knock down enough shots to keep pace with top-seeded Lakeville North.

The Panthers outscored the Tigers 29-13 in the second half to pull away for a 57-37 victory on their home floor. They had scored 71 points the previous Friday against the Tigers in the final game of the regular season.

“The saying is, ‘defense wins championships’ and I think we played tough in that aspect. We held them to 57 points, which is usually enough to be in a position to win,” Carpentier said. “In the off-season the keys will be consistent shot-making, developing a post presence and working on individual offensive skills.”

Just four players scored points for the Tigers, compared to 10 for the Panthers. Sydney Blandin dropped in 14 points and Alyssa Wagner scored 13.

“I feel good knowing that we have started to develop players offensively, and will continue to build and develop our bench and role players,” Carpentier said. “I believe we made progress throughout the season and were a tough No. 8 seed.”

The Tigers finished with a record of 6-21 and lost their final nine games, but there were some stretches of competitive play mixed in. They lost two games to Lakeville South by single digits, came up two points short on the road at Prior Lake and kept pace for much of their games against Eagan and Burnsville.

“The next step for our team is learning how to win and that will come with confidence in their preparation,” Carpentier said. “I can tell these kids are hungry to improve and win. This off-season will be important if we want to continue to move forward. We have to put in a lot of work.”