04 December 2013

Boys B-Ball: Balanced Tigers roll by Mayo

Zach Speikers 20 points (photo by Jim Lindquist)
It took awhile for the Tigers to get going but once they did it was no contest in an 81-54 non-conference win over Rochester Mayo Tuesday night in Rochester.

Farmington's victory over its Section 1 rival raised its season record to 2-0 with another test against section competition coming up Thursday at Rochester John Marshall.

"This game had a lot of similarities to the Hastings game but I think we did improve a bit in some areas," Tiger coach Shane Wyandt said.

"We started off a little up and down on both ends and again turned the ball over too much in the first half. 

"On a positive note. I thought we really played a nice, complete second half. Mayo slowed the game down and played a grind-it-out style which slowed us down for awhile but we adapted and got things going."

Despite some erratic early play the Tigers led the Spartans 37-27 at halftime before stepping on the pedal to pull away with a 44-point second half.

Balance was the key to the offense. Zach Speikers followed up his 17-point performance against Hastings with a 20-point effort to lead the way. Eli Rockett and Mac Bassett also hit double figures for the second straight game with 12 and 11 points respectively. 11 different players scored for the winners.

"We were able to get a decent lead and play our guys off the bench for some extended minutes which was really important," Wyandt said. "We played nine guys extensively and 13 were able to get some minutes."

Nick Varner grabbed 13 rebounds to lead the Tigers to a huge advantage on the boards (35-16) and also dished out nine of the team's 30 assists. Johnny Dittman added six assists and  Speikers handed out five. Rockett finished with eight rebounds.

"We have really rebounded well the first two games," Wyandt said. "Our defense is coming along, too. We are playing a different style and the kids are adapting to it.

"Offensively, our decision-making and movement was much better in the second half and we've really had some nice scoring balance."

Thursday night the Tigers will get their toughest test of the young season at John Marshall. The Rockets routed Mankato East 80-57 in their opener and are considered a contender for Section 1 honors.