18 December 2013

Boys B-Ball: Second half rally saves the day

Zach Speikers 32 points (photo by J. Lindquist)
Coach Shane Wyandt didn't want to talk about what message he gave the Tigers at halftime of Tuesday night's 64-61 Missota Conference home court win over Northfield but whatever its contents, it paid dividends.

Farmington (6-1) slogged through its worst first half of the season and trailed the Raiders by a whopping 38-21 at the break.

"It wasn't a matter of not getting shots, but I don't think I have ever seen a team miss so many bunnies... and then just stand there and watch," Wyandt said of the opening half that saw his team miss 11 of its first 12 shots and hit just eight of 29 tries overall.

"Defensively, we have some basic principles and those seemed to just go out the window. I don't know whether we have been spending too much time reading our press clippings or what but we just didn't show up."

Guards Zach Speikers (10 points) and Jordan DeCroock (six) scored all but five of the Farmington points in the half against Northfield's pesky zone defense.

Northfield added to the Tigers' opening half misery by shooting the lights out. The Raiders canned 16 of 26 shots over the first 18 minutes for a blistering 62 percent.

The second half was an entirely different story.

Farmington outscored its guests by a lopsided 27-9 count and finally pulled ahead for the first time at 48-47 on Speikers' three-point play. The Raiders tied it up once more before Mac Bassett's personal five-point mini-run gave the winners the lead for good.

Northfield scored 11 of its 23 second half points in the final two and a half minutes of regulation.

"The key to the second half was defense and getting the first rebound," Wyandt said. "Once we started doing that we were able to get the ball out in the open floor."

Mac Bassett 13 points (photo by J. Lindquist)
 Individually, it was Speikers who provided the spark. The junior guard scored 22 of his game-high 32 points after the break. He hit six three-point bombs, four in the second half, and also contributed four steals and three assists.

Tuesday's 30-plus points performance was the second of the young season for Speikers who lit up Lakeville North for 31 last week. He is averaging 19.4 points a night through seven games.

Bassett finished with 13 points, five rebounds and three assists and Eli Rockett posted a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds.Nick Varner scored six points and pulled down nine rebounds.

The Tigers close out the pre-Christmas portion of their schedule with a trip to St. Paul Harding Friday night before playing in the Hastings Holiday Tournament next weekend.

"We're going to get everyone's best shot," Wyandt said, "so we can't afford any more nights like tonight."