03 January 2014

Boys B-Ball: Tigers ice Polars

Johnny Dittman 12 points vs. North St. Paul (photo by Jim Lindquist)
Farmington finished off the first leg of a rare back-to-back game schedule with a 68-39 rout of North St. Paul Thursday night at Tiger Gym. The Tigers travel to Irondale tonight (Friday) for another non-conference game.

The win over the visiting Polars gave coach Shane Wyandt an opportunity to play his entire roster and for the most part he was pleased with the effort.

"Going in, the message was that this was a game we should win," he said. "But on paper we were favored in both of the games in the Hastings tournament, too. In the case of Burnsville that didn't work out so well.

"I thought we were much more patient on offense tonight. When we could run we did, and when we
couldn't we were disciplined in the half court. We kept running our sets until we got the shot we wanted...Our defensive sets were also much improved."

The winners set the tone early, converting nine of their first 12 shots on the way to a 26-12 lead after the game's first eight minutes.

By halftime the lead had swelled to a lopsided 40-19 with the Tigers finishing the first 18 minutes shooting 48 percent (12 of 25). The only thing left to decide was the final score.

Wyandt used nine players in the opening half and by the time the final horn sounded, 18 Tigers had seen floor time.

Eleven Farmington players found their way into the scorebook. Three of them reached double figures with Eli Rockett topping the list with 13 points. Guards Johnny Dittman and Jordan DeCroock added 12 and 11 respectively. Zach Speikers chipped in with eight and Tyler VanWinkle had six.

The only downside to Farmington's ninth win in 11 tries came in the opening moments when senior post Nick Varner after scoring the first two points of the night suffered a jaw injury and did not return.

"Nick was already out for tomorrow because he is having wisdom teeth removed," Wyandt said. "He was in a lot of pain after getting hit tonight, so we'll have to see what the extent of the injury is.  We're hoping he will be ready to go next week."

Tuesday night the Tigers face a big Missota Conference test when they travel to Chaska (7-3) to take on the Hawks who have won six of their last seven games.