Preliminary Report: Tigers girls' basketball upset by Lakeville North
The Farmington Tigers girls' basketball team was upset Friday night by the Lakeville North Panthers in the Section 1AAAA championship game 37-35 in a game filled with its fair share of drama including a wild ending.
With the game tied at 35 each and 54 seconds left, the Panthers were patient on offense and Lakeville North junior Lauren Jensen drove to the basket and with a tough finish gave her team a two point lead. Farmington immediately called timeout after inbounding and had the ball with 0.9 seconds left to somehow send the game into overtime or win it all with a three. Farmington junior Molly Mogensen took the inbound pass going toward the right way, took one dribble and drained the three as the buzzer sounded, but the shot was waved off by the refs and the Panthers won 37-35. Video showed afterward that Mogensen did was did not get the shot off by just fractions of a second and Lakeville North beat Farmington in the section championship game for the second year in a row.
Lakeville North made their game plan known from the opening tip and executed it to perfection. The Panthers slowed the game down and took their time on offense while preventing the Tigers from getting out in transition and playing with pace. That combined with some cold shooting by both teams resulted in Lakeville North leading Farmington 15-14 at halftime.
The second half was played a faster pace but not nearly as fast as Farmington probably would have preferred. However, the Tigers came out in the second half and quickly took a 20-17 lead. With just over eight minutes left in the game, Farmington opened up a six-point lead, the largest for either team during the entire game, thanks to some timely 3-point shooting from sophomore Peyton Blandin and junior Katelyn Mohr. From there it was back-and-forth as the Panthers chipped away at the Tigers' lead until they tied the game in the final minutes and retook the lead at the last second before the dramatic ending.
Farmington beat Lakeville North twice during the regular season and in both games the Tigers scored at least 60 points. Despite the Panthers' tactics, Farmington got plenty of clean looks but had too many turnovers in the first half combined with shots not falling. In the second half, they looked like they may open up the game as they ramped up the pace. The Tigers dominated on the offensive glass but struggled to finish those opportunities, which came back to haunt them in a game where offensive possessions were at premium. Overall though, the game was a defensive struggle as both teams played at a high level on that end of the floor and there were very few easily baskets for either squad.
Mogensen led the Tigers with 10 points including some critical finishes at the basket in the second half. Blandin had nine coming off three 3-pointers (each team only made five) and sophomore Sophie Hart added six. Fellow sophomore Paige Kindseth had five points, Mohr three and senior Kaitlin Winston two. For Lakeville North, it was the Lauren Jensen show as she had more than half her teams points with 19 including three 3s and the game-winning basket. Analiese Tschida added nine.
Farmington ends their season with an overall record of 24-5 including the program's first ever South Suburban Conference championship. Heading into next season, they lose a leader in Winston who heads to the University of Northern Iowa to play basketball, as well as fellow seniors Abbie Clayton and Myiah Scott. However, the rest of this year's team returns next season including their top four scorers in Mogensen, Blandin, Kindseth and Hart.