28 December 2013

Boys B-Ball: Blaze burns Tigers

Nick Varner scored a team-high 19 points (photo by Jim Lindquist)
Burnsville erased a 10-point halftime deficit by outscoring the Tigers 41-25 after intermission in a 77-71 victory Friday night in the opening round of the Hastings Holiday Tournament.

With the victory the Blaze advanced to tonight's championship game against Simley. The Tigers will face off against host Hastings in the third place game at 5:00.

Tiger coach Shane Wyandt said his team's performance in the opener was not one of the season's finest.

"We were pretty inconsistent in both halves," he said. "The officials tightened up the calls in the first so we were able to get to the line.

"But in the second half we turned the ball over five of our first seven possessions and that really set the tone for the rest of the game."

Despite the spotty play the Tigers took a 46-36 lead to the halftime break but that went by the boards early with the poor start to the second half.

"Silly mistakes, lazy passes, and poor rebounding sealed the deal," Wyandt said. "We got beat up on the glass, badly at times, and that is an absolute killer for us."

Farmington, playing without the services of starting forward Mac Bassett (illness), did manage to finish with four players in double figures. Nick Varner topped the list with 19 points. Eli Rockett had 14, Wyatt Ferm 12 and Johnny Dittman 10.

The big stat, however, was rebounding where the Tigers managed just 19 for the night. Guard Jordan DeCroock led the team with six.  The starting post tandem of Varner and Rockett combined for just six rebounds.

The Burnsville defense also managed to hold down Farmington leading scorer Zach Speikers (6 points).

"They did a good job of denying Zach the ball," Wyandt said. "He never managed to get into any kind of rhythm."

Foul trouble also came into play as both Varner and Speikers picked up their fifth fouls with the game still hanging in the balance.

Today's third place contest with Hastings will be a re-match of the season opener won by the Tigers 71-52.