28 February 2014

Third time no charm for Raiders; Tigers to semis

Mac Bassett 17 points, 4 steals (photo by J. Lindquist)
An old sports adage says that beating a team for a third time in the same season is often a tough task.

Farmington paid no heed to that school of thought in its Section 1AAAA quarterfinal match-up with Missota Conference rival Northfield Thursday night at Tiger Gym, routing the Raiders 66-47.

The Tigers had beaten their neighbors to the south by three and 20 points in their two meetings during the regular season.

With the opening round win the second-seeded Tigers raised their season record to 19-7 and landed a spot in Saturday's semifinals against third-seeded Rochester John Marshall at Tiger Gym

The victory was especially satisfying for two reasons: 1) It came despite the absence of leading scorer Zach Speikers (19.1 points per game) who tore his ACL in the regular season finale and 2) The so called "home court" advantage was mostly negated by the large Farmington contingent attending the boys' hockey section championship game being played at the same time in Rochester.

None of those things seemed to influence the Tigers play, however. A hawking defense, control of the glass and most of all, the ability to knock down shots produced a 39-17 halftime lead.
The contest was tight early with the Tigers clinging to a 12-11 lead before an 18-0 run by the home team put it up by 19 points. Farmington shot a white-hot 14 of 19 (74 percent) from the field over the first 18 minutes.

"I thought it was a true team effort on both ends of the floor," coach Shane Wyandt said. "We traded some baskets early but I don't think it was really due to poor defense.

"As they started missing some shots, we did a nice job of rebounding and getting out into transition.  We played eight deep and were pretty steady for most of the half."

The lead swelled to 25 points after the halftime break before the Raiders battled back to at one time cut the margin to 15.

Tyler VanWinkle pulled down a team-high six rebounds (photo by Jim Lindquist)
Farmington finished with a dominant advantage on the boards, out-rebounding the Raiders 27-15.

With Speikers out, the Tigers spread the scoring load around with four players finishing in double figures. Mac Bassett led the way with 17. Johnny Dittman had 12, Wyatt Ferm 11 and Eli Rockett 10.

Nick Varner chipped in with six points, six assists, five rebounds and four blocks. Tyler VanWinkle scored just one point but contributed a team-high six rebounds, two steals, two blocks and a pair of assists.

"We feel we have a solid group even without Zach," Wyandt said.  "We cannot replace him with one guy but some of our bench guys are very capable of stepping up and handling a little more of the load.

"Tyler (VanWinkle) did a nice job on defense and helped out on the glass. That is what we really need from him. He's a guy that we need to be steady and win some hustle points. That's very important for us."

The Tigers downed John Marshall 79-69 when the teams met in Rochester in the third game the season but the Rockets have been playing well of late. They finished the regular season 19-6 and routed Hastings 75-53 in their section opener.

"We had nice offensive balance and a solid defensive effort at their place." Wyandt said. "You could really see our kids buckle down each defensive possession.  It's that effort and attitude on defense and soild executuion on offense which will make us successful."

Tip-off for the semifinal match-up is 7:00 Saturday night at Tiger Gym.

Streak and season end in section finals

Wyatt Jensen moves the puck up the ice (photo by Jim Lindquist)
Farmington's 2013-14 storybook season had everything but a happy ending.

Lakeville North, the top-rated Class AA team in Minnesota, halted the Tigers school-record 18-game winning streak with a workmanlike 6-0 victory Thursday night in the Section 1AA championship game played at the Rochester Recreation Center.

The loss ended a dream season for the Tigers who finished with a school-record 23-4-1 record, a Missota Conference title and an unmatched unbeaten streak that lasted a remarkable 72 days.

"It's always tough when the end is so abrupt," coach Keith Revels said. "The boys took it pretty hard. They have grown pretty close over the season.

"The pain will fade over time. Young kids are pretty resilient that way. The memories, accomplishments and bonds they formed with each will be lasting. I am very proud of this group of young men."

The Tigers got off to a quick start against the talented Panthers, controlling the puck much of the opening 10 minutes in which they outshot their neighbors to the west by a dominating 7-2 margin. Unfortunately, none found its way into the Panther net.

The tide began to turn when the South Suburban Conference champions capitalized on their first power play opportunity at 11:55 of the period to take the lead.

The Tigers got a man advantage of their own two minutes later but could not muster a shot against a stifling North penalty kill.

Alex Aubrecht delivers a hit (photo by J. Lindquist)
"Specialty teams are always big but even more so in the playoffs," Revels said. "Their power play isn't fancy; get it to the point and shoot, tip screen and rebound.

"The difference between giving up a power play goal or killing off a penalty is intensified in high stakes games.  That was a big momentum shift."

 Early in the second stanza, the Tigers' had a golden opportunity to knot the score when Wyatt Jensen picked up a loose puck deep in the North zone and bounced it off the goalie's pads.

North's Angelo Altavilla scored twice in a 32-second span midway through the second period to make it 3-0 and then the Panthers repeated the bang-bang feat in the final two minutes of the period with two more scores in a 31-second period.

"The puck seemed to have eyes on some of their tips," Revels said, "but give them credit. They came hard after them."

As if anything else could go wrong, Tigers' leading scorer Justin Novak was whistled for a five-minute major for slashing 47 seconds into the final period to all but take the air out of the Farmington side of the building.

"Somehow North talked the official into a five-minute penalty," Revels said. "Not sure how that happened.

"I'm am pretty sure that's Justin's first-ever major. He's not the type of player who takes penalties like that. It didn't decide the outcome, but having him on the shelf for five minutes sure didn't help."

The Tigers killed off the penalty time but never generated much in the way of an offensive attack the rest of the way.

Altavilla completed his hat trick with 3:58 remaining to start running time and the countdown to the end of the Farmington season.

The shots on goal numbers were respectable with the Panthers finishing the night with a 33-25 edge.

Gage Overby patrolled the Tigers nets for the first two periods and surrendered the first five goals. He finished with 18 saves. Nick Schoening worked the final 17 minutes and stopped nine of the 10 shots he faced. 

"North will probably be the first or second seed in the state tournament," Revels said. "They have wins over Hill-Murray and Duluth East and won the South Suburban which is no small feat. I expect they will do well."

The section title game, Farmington's first-ever as a Class AA school, marked the final appearance in a Tiger uniform for seven seniors: Schoening, Landon Nielsen, Alex Aubrecht, Tanner Grubb, Jack Erickson, Chris Fitzgibbons and Dallas Tucker.

Tiger leading scorer Justin Novak drew a crowd all night (photo by Jim Lindquist)

B-Ball: Tigers post win No. 10

Abby Gallus returned to the lineup wit 11 points, 8 rebounds (photo by Jim Lindquist)
Farmington rallied from a three-point halftime deficit to defeat Hastings Thursday night in Hastings to bring its season win total to 10, eight more than all of last season.

The victory in the Tigers' first of a hectic, three games-in-three days schedule also snapped a five game losing streak and boosted their overall record to 10-14.

Win No. 10 didn't come easily, however. Farmington's first half shooting percentage mirrored the frigid outside temperatures and thanks to a Raider three-pointer at the buzzer, the visitors went to intermission down 27-24.

"We told the girls at half if our shots aren’t falling, we needed to be more aggressive to the basket and get to the line more often," coach Sondra Chadwick said. "We ended up making 22 of 34 free throws which for us is an incredible amount."

An aggressive defense and control of the boards also helped key the second half turnaround. The Tigers finally wrestled back the lead with nine minutes to play and never gave it up.

Five different players made good on free throw chances down the stretch to nail down the victory.
"I felt that the girls showed they can withstand a poor shooting night by picking up the defensive intensity and clearing the boards," Chadwick said. "Those two things generated offensive opportunities for us on the other end."

Sofia Chadwick scored a dozen points and added six rebounds to pace the Farmington scoring. Abby Gallus returned to the lineup after being out three games with concussion symptoms and contributed 11 points and a team-high eight boards.

"You can say I was very happy to have Abby back," coach Chadwick said.

Alicia Hett chipped in with eight points and three steals to go with a fine defensive effort that limited Hastings' leading scorer to just five points. Kaitlyn Gorden and Jordan Homeier each finished with seven points.

"I liked our balanced scoring tonight," Chadwick said.

The Tigers will pile up some more frequent rider bus miles over the next two days with Missota Conference road games Friday night at Shakopee and Saturday afternoon at Chanhassen. The Section 1AA tournament kicks off next week.

Tiger Scoreboard: February 28, 2014

Boys Hockey
Section 1AA
Lakeville North 6 Farmington 0

Boys Basketball
Section 1AA semifinals
Farmington 66 Northfield 47

Girls Basketball
Farmington 47 Hastings 40

26 February 2014

Girls B-Ball: Tigers give No. 4 Hawks a battle

Farmington gave No. 4 Chaska a game Tuesday night at Tiger Gym but in the end the Hawks interior size proved the difference in a 60-51 Missota Conference loss.

The Tiger sprang to an early 19-7 lead against the conference leaders behind the long-range shooting of Sofia Chadwick and Jordyn Homeier before the Hawks applied full court pressure that got them back into the game.

"We uncharacteristically struggled with the press and they went on a run, scoring easily in transition," Farmington coach Sondra Chadwick said.

The Tigers still trailed by just a basket (31-29) at halftime but in the second half the visitors took advantage of their superior height to extend their lead.

"We handled the press much better in the second half," Chadwick said, "but we did not get as many open looks and shots were harder to come by. On the other end, Chaska started going inside to their posts, exploiting our lack of size." 

Sofia Chadwick, the school's most recent 1000-point career scorer, had another big night in the losing effort, finishing with a game-high 24 points. The junior guard scored a dozen in each half and drained four three-pointers.

Senior Aly Grebner had nine points and Kaitlyn Gorden and Homeier each added six. Point guard Alicia Hett scored only two points but played solid defense, pulled down a team-high seven rebounds and handed out four assists.

"Overall the girls played very well against the top team in the conference," coach Chadwick said. "We are playing some good basketball right now. The kids stepped up on the boards and in their defensive intensity."

With the loss the Tigers dropped to 9-14 for the season and 4-8 in Missota Conference play.

The Tigers are hoping to have second leading scorer Abby Gallus (concussion symptoms) back in the lineup on Thursday when they begin a three games-in-three nights run at Hastings. Friday they head to Shakopee and Saturday afternoon they get back on the bus and go to Chanhassen for the regular season finale.

25 February 2014

Tiger Scoreboard: February 26, 2014

Girls Basketball
Chaska 60 Farmington 51

Tigers beat South in 2OT, advance to finals

Austin Martinsen netted the game-winner (photo by J. Lindquist)
For the first time since moving up to Class AA status Farmington has reached the section finals.

The Tigers earned their berth in Thursday night's Section1 championship game when Austin Martinsen scored midway through a second overtime for a 5-4 win over Lakeville South at the Rochester Recreation Center.

"Team chemistry with this bunch is top notch.," coach Keith Revels said. "We fought our way back from three goals down to net four in a row after giving up four in a row."

Revels was not using those sort of terms early on when after Tanner Grubb (from Dallas Tucker and Erik Holmstrom) scored the first of his two goals for a 1-0 lead, the Cougars clawed back for three of their own in the opening period.

"The defensive zone play was pretty sketchy early," Revels said, "We got caught up mostly trying to do too much instead of defending from the inside out. We got caught on the perimeter looking in."

Things went from dreary to bleak when South extended its lead to 4-1 seven minutes into the second period before the Tigers started to right the ship.

Justin Novak (from Martinsen and Devin Bernu) connected on the power play and then Jack Erickson scored unassisted late in the second to make it a one-goal game at the second break.

Tanner Grubb scored twice for the winners (photo by J. Lindquist)
Grubb (from Novak and Holmstrom) tied the count with his secind goal of the night with 5:12 left in regulation to set up a nail-biter of a finish.

"It was our captains and leaders who got us back in it," Revels said. "I think our depth also made a difference."

The drama was far from over, however. The Tigers had to skate off two late third period penalties and played the first 1:03 of the first overtime a man down.

Farmington seemed to get the better of the play through most of the first extra session but could not turn opportunities into a goal.

The game-winner came on a pass from Novak to John Siebenaler who put the puck on Martinsen's stick as he raced up the left side of the rink. Martinsen went top shelf from the top of the circle, rifling the puck past the glove of South netminder Daniel Swail.

Revels summed up Martinsen's deciding goal in a word.

"Spectacular," he said.

Gage Overby worked the Tiger nets and after a shaky start, shut the door when it counted most. He finished with 22 saves and blanked the Cougars over the final 37-plus minutes.

The victory was the 18th in a row for the Missota Conference champions who are 19-0-1 since Dec. 17 and 23-3-1 overall.

Farmington will still go into Thursday night's championship tilt with Lakeville North as the underdog. The Panthers are 22-4-2 and ranked No. 2 among Class AA teams in the most recent state poll.

"North has depth like us and has played top level teams all year long," Revels said. "But after watching us over the last 18 games, I would not count us out.

"This team finds a way to win and has a ton of heart. We'll have to shore up the defensive zone and convert chances more efficiently on offense."

The last time the Tigers played a section title game was in 2000 when they went on to win the consolation championship at the Class A state tournament.

Game time is 8:00 Thursday night at the Rochester Recreation Center.

Gage Overby blanked the Cougars for the final 37-plus minutes (photo by J. Lindquist)

24 February 2014

Tiger Scoreboard: February 25, 2014

Boys Hockey
Section 1AA semifinals at Rochester Recreation Center
Farmington 5 Lakeville South 4 (2OT)
Farmington rallied from a 4-1 deficit to advance to Thursday's finals against Lakeville North back in Rochester. Austin Martinsen scored the game-winning goal.

23 February 2014

Boys B-Ball: Tigers No. 2 in Section 1AAAA

Farmington earned the No. 2 seed for the upcoming Section 1AAAA tournament and will open post-season play Wednesday night at Tiger Gym against No. 7 Northfield.

A win against the Raiders would mean another home game on Saturday night against the winner of the opening round contest between No. 3 Rochester John Marshall and  No. 6 Hastings.

Other first round match-ups include top-seeded Lakeville North vs. No. 8 Hastings and No. 4 Rochester Century vs. No. 5 Owatonna.

The finals will be played Friday, March 7, at the Rochester Civic Center.

Boys Hockey: Tigers rout Rockets; South next

John Siebenaler had a hat trick and an assist (photo by Jim Lindquist)
When the Tigers played Rochester John Marshall at Schmitz-Maki Arena in early December they eked out a 4-3 non conference win.

In Saturday's twice-delayed rematch in the opening round of the Section 1AA tournament it was an entirely different story with the red-hot Tigers rolling to a lopsided 10-2 victory.

The win upped Farmington's season record to 22-3-1 and stretched its school-record winning streak to 18 games heading into Monday's semifinal match up with Lakeville South.

Saturday's contest was close for a period with Jack Erickson's goal (from Dallas Ticker and Devin Bernu) the only score.

"We really dominated the puck in the first period," Tiger coach Keith Revels said, "even though we had only the one goal to show for it."

From there on, it was a rout of major proportions. The winners found the back of the net four times in the second period and then added five more scores in the third to complete the blowout.

"One of the biggest differences was depth," Revels said. "JM played hard but they seemed to get tired as the game wore on."

Austin Martinsen 2 goals, 3 assists (photo by J. Lindquist)
The Tigers outshot the Rockets 33-14 for the night and connected on almost a third of their tries, an average that would make Joe Mauer proud.

The potent Justin Novak-John Siebenaler-Austin Martinsen line did much of the heavy lifting for the Tigers, accounting for six goals and seven assists. Siebenaler recorded a hat trick and had an assist. Martinsen scored twice and added three assists and playmaker Novak continued to pile up points with a goal and three assists.

"Justin is a very special player and moves the puck," Revels said. "John and Austin are snipers and together they are really clicking on all cylinders right now."

Erickson, Landon Neilsen, Grady Hauswirth and Chris Fitzgibbons also scored goals for the winners. Bernu, Tyler Jette and Jake Trippel each handed out a pair of assists. Tucker, Benton Olson, Alex Aubrecht and Wyatt Jensen each had one.

Tiger goalkeeper Nick Schoening had a relatively quiet night in earning his ninth win of the season with a dozen saves.

"We are a completely different team than we were when we played them (JM) during the regular season," Revels said. "Some new contributors, some different line combinations and just all round better."

The second-seeded Tigers face-off against No. 3 seed South (9-17) on Monday night at the Rochester Recreation Center for the right to play top-seeded Lakeville North in Thursday's section championship game back in Rochester. The puck drops at 7:00 p.m.

Justin Novak goal, 3 assists (photo by Jim Lindquist)

Venz, Hoeve section champs; 5 to state

Five Tigers to wrestle in Class AA state meet
Farmington coach Chad Olson said he didn't know where to start in describing how well his team performed at this weekend's Section 1AAA Championships in Rochester.

"It was the best section tourney in program history," Olson said. "The guys wrestled the best they ever have.

"Five state qualifiers, 13 medal winners, 12 top-four finishers. We peaked at the right time and it was a lot of fun to watch. I am so proud of how they competed."

Defending state106-pound champion Taylor Venz and state meet returnee Joe Hoeve each finished a perfect 3-0 at the section meet to punch their return tickets to state.

Venz rolled to a 13-2 win over Owatonna's Logan Soltau in the 126-pound final while Hoeve out-pointed Northfield Sam Minske 5-3 in the 182-pound championship bout.

Defending state Taylor Venz 126 returning to state (photo by Jim Lindquist)
Two of the other three Tigers state qualifiers are also state meet veterans. Jamin LeDuc, who won a sixth place medal last year, earned a second state berth after losing a 7-3 decision to Tanner Cole of Owatonna in the 113-pound section finals.

Kyle Benjamin lost a tough 3-2 decision to Jake Anderson of Hastings in the 145-pound championship match to garner his second straight state meet berth.

The final state qualifier, 106-pounder Victor Gliva, earned his first-ever ticket to state the hard way, coming all the way through the consolation bracket to win an 8-5 decision over Hastings' Adam McSorley in the true second match.

Two other Tigers, John Walz (170) and CJ Wynings (285) also made it to a true second match and barely lost their state tournament bids.

Matt Rustad capped off his fine season with a third place finish in the 132-pound bracket and Godfrey Mpetey took third place in the 220-pound division.

Three other Farmington grapplers finished in fourth place: Skyler Raymond (120); Brayden Chapman (138) and Trevor Frost (195). Joe Liden ranked sixth among 152-pounders.

The state meet will be held next Friday and Saturday at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul.

Joe Hoeve went 3-0 to win 182-pound title (photo by Jim Lindquist)

Boys Swimming: Berg, Bovee, relay on to state

Dan Berg qualified for state in three events (photo by Jim Lindquist)
Farmington finished third in the team standings and qualified for this week's Class AA Championships in four events at the Section 1AA meet held Saturday at the Rochester Recreation Center.

Rochester Century won the section team title with 437 points, followed by Hastings 420, Farmington 299, Rochester John Marshall 286, Winona 251, Rochester Mayo 193 and Owatonna 151.

Dan Berg had an outstanding  meet for the Tigers, qualifying for state in three events. The speedy senior won the 100 freestyle, took third in the 50 freestyle and teamed up with Eric Schimmel, Garrett Haugen and Brandon Dion for a third place finish in the 400 freestyle relay.

The other Farmington state qualifier was diver Jonathan Bovee, who took third in the one-meter board competition.

"We had a pretty good show at sections," Tiger coach Ryan Hamen said. "We qualified for state in four events and some of our young guys stepped up and showed great promise."

In addition to the state-qualifying performances, a couple of other Farmington entrants barely missed the cut.

Brandon Dion broke Brian Huls' school record in his fourth place finish in the 100 butterfly that was .02 of a second out of third. The 200 freestyle relay quartet of Schimmel, Haugen, Dion and Berg finished third, one place away from state qualification.

Other top Farmington performances:
200 freestyle: 8. Schimmel
200 individual medley: 5. Austin Kueck
500 freestyle: 5. Kueck
100 backstroke: 7. Ben Gunderson
100 breaststroke: 7. Jake Bauerle

The Class AA state championships will be held next weekend at the University of Minnesota Aquatic Center.

22 February 2014

Wrestling: Tigers send 10 to semifinals

The Tigers advanced 10 wrestlers to Saturday's semifinals (photo by Jim Lindquist)
Farmington had a big day at the first day of the Section 1AA individual wrestling championships held Friday in Rochester.

The Tigers advanced 10 of their 14 entrants to Saturday's semifinal round and three more assured themselves of a medal.

Semifinalists included Victor Gliva (106 pounds); Jamin LeDuc (113); Taylor Venz (126); Matt Rustad (132); Brayden Chapman (138); Kyle Benjamin (145); John Walz (170); Joe Hoeve (182); Godfrey Mpetey (220) and CJ Wynings (285).

Skyler Raymond (120), Joe Liden (152) and Trevor Frost (195) each earned a spot on the awards podium and will also wrestle on Saturday.

20 February 2014

Section 1AA events postponed

Section 1AA post-season events scheduled for Thursday, February 20, have been postponed due to inclement weather.

The section quarterfinal boys' hockey game between Farmington and Rochester John Marshall has been moved back to Friday night at 7:15 at Schmitz.Maki Arena. Saturday's semifinal round at the Rochester Recreation Center will go on as scheduled.

If the Tigers win their game on Friday night, they would play the winner of the Lakeville South-Rochester Century opening round match-up at 8:00 p.m. Saturday night in Rochester. The finals take place next Thursday night (Feb. 27) in Rochester.

The preliminaries of the Section 1AA boys' swimming and diving meet scheduled for the Rochester Recreation Center on Thursday have been pushed back to Friday with the finals slated for Saturday at the same location.

19 February 2014

Boys B-Ball: A balanced approach

Johnny Dittman scored a team-high 18 points (photo by Jim Lindquist)
Four players scored in double figures as the Tigers won their third straight in convincing fashion, a 74-54 victory over Northfield Tuesday night in Northfield.

Tiger coach Shane Wyandt was pleased with his team's effort in the rematch with the Raiders that went much differently than when the two teams met in December at Tiger Gym. In that one Farmington had to overcome a double digit halftime deficit to pull out a 64-61 win.

"A really well-played game for the most part by our guys," Wyandt said. "We came out strong and really continued that solid effort the whole way on both ends of the floor.

"I really liked our defensive effort most of the night. Some early trouble forced us to change our defensive game plan a bit but I thought the kids adjusted nicely and made a positive out of it."

A strong first half defensive stand gave the visitors a 30-18 lead at intermission, a lead they would continue to stretch throughout the second half.

Wyandt has stressed all season that his team is at it best when is shares the ball and the scoring load. Tuesday's win could serve as Exhibit A for that position.

All an all, 10 different Farmington players found their way into the scoring column with Johnny Dittman leading the scoring parade with 18 points, including a pair of three-pointers.

Eli Rockett finished with 10 points and four rebounds (photo by Jim Lindquist)
Leading scorer Zach Speikers and Wyatt Ferm each had a pair of three's and finished with 14  points apiece. Eli Rockett, forced to log extra minutes inside due to Nick Varner's illness and early foul trouble, finished with 10 points.

"Eli put forth a really good effort tonight," Wyandt said.

Mac Bassett scored six points and was a force on the boards, pulling down a team-high seven rebounds.

The only down side of the night came in the injury department where Speikers suffered an undetermined knee injury in the second half and top reserve Jordan DeCroock left the floor after getting kicked in the head in a battle for a loose ball.

"We're hoping Zach's injury isn't anything structural," Wyandt said. "Jordan tested out OK on the bench so he should be fine."

Farmington, 18-7 overall and 8-5 in the conference, will shoot for its fourth in a row Friday night when it entertains Chanhassen in the regular season finale. The Section 1AAAA post-season tournament begins next week.

Girls B-Ball: Chadwick hits 1000-point mark

Sofia Chadwick hit the 1000-point mark (photo by Jim Lindquist)
Northfield's tall front line combined for 46 points but Tiger junior Sofia Chadwick put up the biggest numbers in Farmington's 63-52 Missota Conference loss to Northfield Tuesday night at Tiger Gym.

Chadwick's game-high 29 points boosted her career total over the 1000 mark, making her just the seventh Tiger to reach four digits in career scoring. Julie (Bauer) Mogensen (1987) holds the all-time mark with 1438 points.

The Tigers, playing without the services of second leading scorer Abby Gallus (concussion), kept with the taller Raiders for a half, leaving the floor at intermission locked in a 23-23 tie.

The Raiders controlled the final 18 minutes, however, dominating the offensive boards and the  scoreboard.

"We just struggled against their size," Tiger coach Sondra Chadwick said. "They had 18 points on offensive put-backs in the second half alone.

"We played a strong first half, but I felt that we did not maintain our aggressiveness on the offensive end in the second. We were just not strong on the boards."

Morgan Mach chipped in with nine points (photo by Jim Lindquist)
Sofia Chadwick had a team-high four assist to go with her 29 points but didn't get a lot help offensively. Morgan Mach and Kailtyn Gorden each had nine points as those three accounted for all but five of Farmington's point total.

"Morgan gave us a spark tonight," coach Chadwick said. "and Kailtyn played tough defense and came up with three steals."

Coach Chadwick also complimented the work of McKenna Mayer who saw her first extended varsity floor time and pulled down a team-high seven rebounds.

Sofia Chadwick wasn't the only Tiger to be recognized Tuesday night. Aly Grebner was honored as the team's lone senior.

The loss extended the Tigers' losing streak to four games and dropped their overall record to 9-13, 4-7 in the Missota Conference. Friday night they head to Chanhassen for a conference game with the Storm.
Aly Grebner had Senior Night all to herself (file photo by Jim Lindquist)

18 February 2014

Tiger Scoreboard: February 19, 2014

Boys Basketball
Farmington 74 Northfield 54

Girls Basketball
Northfield 63 Farmington 52

17 February 2014

Boys Hockey: Tigers No. 2 in section seeding

Missota Conference champion Farmington (21-3-1) earned the No. 2 seed for the upcoming Section 1AA tournament and will open post-season play Thursday night, Feb. 20 against No. 6 Rochester John Marshall at Schmitz-Maki Arena.

Other first round match-ups include No. 8 Dodge County at No. 1 Lakeville North; No. 6 Rochester Century at No. 3 Lakeville South and No. 5 Owatonna ant No. 4 Rochester Mayo.

The semifinals and finals will be played Saturday, Feb. 22, and Thursday, Feb. 27, at the Rochester Recreation Center.

For complete bracket information visit http://www.mshsl.org/mshsl/showxmlbrackets.asp?tournid=44&bracket=6697

16 February 2014

Wrestling: No. 7 Huskies beat Tigers in semis

Taylor Venz won a major decision over Chandler Bauer (photo by Jim Lindquist)
Seventh-ranked Owatonna won nine of 14 matches to defeat the Tigers 42-16 in the semifinals of the Section 1AAA tournament held Saturday afternoon at the Rochester Civic Center.

Later in the day the Huskies dropped a 33-24 decision to Hastings in the championship match.

Eleven of Owatonna's point total against the Tigers came on bonus points on four pins, a technical fall and a major decision.

"Our wrestlers gave great effort, but we came up short." coach Chad Olson said. "It was a great learning experience for our wrestlers. This group of wrestlers (and the program in general) has not been in a semifinal round of sections and have not competed in the environment of the Mayo Civic Center."

The big win of the day for Farmington came in the 126-pound bout where sixth-ranked Taylor Venz rolled to a 17-4 major decision over Chandler Bauer.

Two other state-ranked Tigers scored three-point decisions. Matt Rustad (No. 7) defeated Alex Green 8-4 at 132 pounds and Joe Hoeve (No. 7) defeated Hunter Jirele 8-5 in the 182-pound bout.

In a battle of state-ranked foes Owatonna's Tanner Cole defeated No.3 Jamin LeDuc for the second time this year, this time by a 3-1 margin.

Kyle Benjamin was a 3-1 winner over Jake Woodrich (photo by Jim Lindquist)
Kyle Benjamin continued to wrestle well since his return to the lineup, scoring a 3-1 decision over Jake Woodrich in the 145-pound match.

Godfrey Mpetey scored the final Farmington points of the day with an 8-5 victory over Logan Johnson in the 220-pound match-up.

The Tigers now turn their attention to next week's Section 1AAA individual championships slated for next Friday and Saturday back at the Rochester Civic Center. The top two finishers in each weight class advance to the Class AA state meet the following week.

"The only real goal for next weekend is to make sure our wrestlers are peaking," Olson said. "If we can get them to wrestle the best they have all season, the results will take care of themselves."

15 February 2014

Boys Hockey: Momentum and then some

Wyatt Jensen scored his first career goal (photo by Jim Lindquist)
Farmington barreled into the post-season with about as much momentum as one team could have.

With Saturday afternoon's 5-2 Missota Conference road win over Chaska in the regular season finale, the Tigers stretched their winning streak to 16 games. They haven't lost since December 18 at Rosemount, a stretch of 59 days.

Saturday's victory also upped Farmington's season record to a robust 21-3-1 and it final conference championship numbers to 13-0-1.

"It's been a good run," coach Keith Revels understated. "The boys are playing well."

Like Tuesday's conference clincher against Shakopee, the win at Chaska did not come early or easily.

Despite out-shooting the host Hawks 40-12 over the first two periods the visitors led only 2-1 after two periods on goals by Grady Hauswirth and Wyatt Jensen. Jensen's score was the first of his varsity career.

"Our offense is like Novocaine," Revels quipped. "It takes some time but works in the end."

In this case it worked to the tune of three third period goals, one apiece by Landon Neilsen, Jack Erickson and Justin Novak after the Hawks had forged a 2-2 tie.

Once again the conference champs did a remarkable job of spreading around the points. In addition to the five different goal scorers, seven more Tigers registered an assist: Novak, Jake Trippel, Devin Bernu, Erik Holmstrom, Tyler Jette, Tanner Grubb and John Siebenaler.

Justin Novak (53 points) won conference scoring title (photo by Jim Lindquist)
Novak's two-point night gave him the Missota Conference individual scoring title. The junior forward finished with 53 points on 15 goals and 38 assists.

Gage Overby worked the Tiger nets and picked up his13th win of the season with a 21-save performance.

The post-season comes on quickly with the quarterfinals slated to begin next Thursday night at the home of the higher seeded team. The Tigers figure to be seeded second or third, slots that would guarantee a home game in the opening round. The semifinals are scheduled for Saturday (Feb. 22) in Rochester.

Boys B-Ball: Speikers paces Tigers past Stars

Zach Speikers scored 37 points against the Stars (photo by Jim Lindquist)
Zach Speikers came within a point of a career-high with a 37 point effort to lead the Tigers to an 84-66 Missota Conference victory over Holy Angels Friday night at Tiger Gym.

The win was the second straight for Farmington and boosted its record to 17-7 overall and 7-5 in Missota Conference play.

The contest was in stark contrast to the teams' earlier meeting when the Tigers needed a three-pointer at the buzzer by Johnny Dittman to pull out a 60-59 win in a low-scoring battle.

The rematch was much more to the Tigers' liking, a fast-paced affair that allowed the winners to get the ball out in the open court.

The game was close early on before Speikers, who missed the first Holy Angels game with an ankle injury, started taking the ball to the basket and either getting baskets or free throw opportunities.

By halftime the home team was sitting on a 45-30 lead and playing as well as it had in recent weeks.

Mac Bassett 11 points and a solid floor game (photo by Jim Lindquist)
Farmington continued to build its lead after intermission, continuing to distribute the basketball while playing solid defense and owning the backboards. The Tigers finished with a commanding 27-19 advantage on the glass.

Speikers came within a point of matching his 38 scored against Hastings over the holidays. Included in the numbers were 11 field goals, including a pair of three-pointers, and 13 free throws. The junior guard also chimed in with six rebounds and a team-high four assists.

Eli Rockett had another solid game inside, finishing with 16 points and a team-best seven rebounds. Mac Bassett added 11 points to go with a solid floor game and some strong defensive play. Dittman finished with nine points and a couple of steals.

The Tigers will hope to build some more momentum toward the post-season when they travel to Northfield Tuesday night to take on the Raiders. They close out the regular season next Friday with a home game with Chanhassen before opening section play the following week.

Gymnastics: Tigers Section 1AA Academic Champs

Section 1AA Academic Champions  
Top-rated Northfield got by Winona for the Section 1AA gymnastics championship held Friday night at Rochester Century but Farmington didn't come home empty-handed.

The Tigers learned they had been crowned as the Section 1AA academic champions. The award goes to the section team that has the highest average grade point among varsity team members. Farmington registered a remarkable 3.995 average (on a 4.0 scale).

The team will receive a commemorative banner to be presented at a banquet held in conjunction with next week's State Class AA Championships.

In the actual meet, Northfield out-pointed Winona 149.5-147.6 to repeat as section champion. Owatonna took third at 142.275, followed by Rochester Century 140.275, Farmington 137.6, Faribault 137.0, Rochester Mayo 129.5 and Rochester John Marshall 125.0.

The Tigers' score fell 2.4 points below the season-long goal of 140, but coach Lynn Bauman said she was satisfied with her team's performance at the final meet of the year.

"Once again we are back in the hardest section in the state," she said. "The girls had a good meet. We would have liked to end on a higher note, but it was good."

The Tigers didn't qualify anyone for the state meet, but they were not alone. Of the nine section qualifiers, seven came from either champion Northfield or runner-up Winona.

Amanda Davenport scored the highest individual place for the Tigers, finishing ninth in floor exercise with a 9.325 mark.

Gina Mercurio took tenth place on the balance beam with a score of 8.85.

Tahra Eckert turned in the highest Farmington score in vault with a 9.275. Davenport led on the uneven bars with a mark of 8.3.


Tiger Scoreboard: Februray 16, 2014

Boys Hockey
Farmington 5 Chaska 2
Tigers finish 13-0-1 in the Missota Conference while winning 16th straight game

Section 1AAA team semifinals
Owatonna 42 Farmington 16

Girls B-Ball: Second half rally falls short

Jordyn Homeier scored 18 points (photo by Jim Lindquist)
For the second time this week a cold shooting first half cost the Tigers a Missota Conference victory, this one a 55-52 setback at Holy Angels Friday night in Richfield.

Farmington outplayed the Stars through most the first 18 minutes but could not convert solid defense and strong offensive rebounding into points.

The Tigers made just eight of 30 (27 percent) shot attempts in the first half and trailed 24-19 at intermission.

Several times in the second half the visitors cut their deficit but could never quite get over the hump.

The closest they would come was 31-30 early in the half on a pair of free throws and a three-pointer by Jordyn Homeier.

Alicia Hett's three-pointer with 33 seconds to play pulled the Tigers to within a basket at 54-52 and a missed back half of a none-and-one free throw opportunity gave them one final chance.

Holy Angels knocked the ball out of bounds with with fewer than four seconds left before Homeier's corner three as time expired missed the mark.

"We can't say we didn't have our chances at the end of the game," coach Sondra Chadwick said. "The girls played a tough game but we struggled against their size again and we were not physical enough on the boards in the second half." 

The Tigers played most of the second half without the services of starter Abby Gallus who suffered a concussion in a collision under the Stars' basket.

Farmington shot better in the second half (11 for 23) to finish the night at 36 percent (19 of 53).

Homeier finished with 18 points to lead the Tiger scorers. Sofia Chadwick joined her in double figures with 10 and also handed out a team-high eight assists.

Gallus added seven points and Hett, Leah Hammond and Kaitlyn Gorden each had five. Gorden led in rebounds with 10; Gallus added six boards before leaving the game.

Farmington (9-12) will look to get back on the winning track Tuesday night when it entertains Northfield night in a Missota Conference game at Tiger Gym.

14 February 2014

Tiger Scoreboard: February 15, 2014

Boys Basketball
Farmington 84 Holy Angels 66

Girls Basketball
Holy Angels 55 Farmington 52

Section 1AA Championships at Rochester Century
Northfield 149.5, Winona 147.6, Owatonna 142.275, Rochester Century 140.275, Farmington 137.6, Faribault 137.0, Rochester Mayo 129.5, Rochester John Marshall 125

Boys Hockey: Leaving the Missota in style

2013-14 Missota Conference Champions
For the first time in 38 years the Farmington Tigers are the boys' hockey champions of the Missota Conference.

Coach Keith Revels' squad defeated Shakopee 5-3 Thursday night at Schmitz-Maki Arena to remain unbeaten (12-0-1) in conference play and clinch the last-ever Missota title. The league will disband after the 2013-14 school year with the Tigers moving to the South Suburban Conference.

"I think we knew all along the conference title was in reach," Revels said, "but it was not an easy feat. Fourteen games over three months requires consistent persistence. Team chemistry is the key component to the success we are experiencing.

"I'm pretty proud of this group of young men right now. They seem to be able to find a way to win even when they are not at their best."

The conference clincher, the Tigers' 15th straight victory, surely didn't come easily. Farmington got the better of the play all night but could not shake the pesky Sabers.

Shakopee drew first blood in the opening period before Alex Aubrecht tied the count on assists from Justin Novak and Austin Martinsen.

The second period was a carbon copy of the first with the Sabers scoring first and Farmington responding with a goal by John Siebenaler to send the teams to the final break deadlocked at 2-2.

Dallas Tucker (from Tanner Grubb and Jack Erickson) gave Farmington its first lead of the game with a score 4:31 into the third period but the lead was short-lived. Shakopee re-tied it fewer than 90 seconds later to set up a hectic finish.

Erik Holmstrom scored the game-winner (photo by J. Lindquist)
Erik Holmstrom's power play goal (from Novak and Martinsen) midway through the final frame gave the Tigers the lead for good and another late power play score by Martinsen (from Novak and Siebenaler) put a cherry on the conference championship cake.

The power play scores were a fitting ending to the evening's proceedings as the visitors picked up five penalties, including a bench minor, in the final 10 minutes if play.

"Shakopee lost their composure and we kept our focus," Revels said. "We picked each other up and pressed on."

Nick Schoening went the distance in goal for the winners, running his season record to 8-1 with a 19-save effort.

Novak continued his season-long role as  primary playmaker, finishing the night with four assists to raise his season point total to 51. Martinsen (goal, 2 assists) and Siebenaler (goal, assist) also had multiple-point nights for the winners.

The conference champs (20-3-1) close the books on their regular season Saturday afternoon with a conference afternoon game at Chaska then await the results of the Section 1AA seedings.

"I am thinking we'll be second with a chance of falling to third," Revels predicted, "but either way our focus will remain the same. Don't get complacent. Keep pushing forward and improving each and every outing."

Justin Novak assisted on four of the five Tiger goals (photo by Jim Lindquist)

Wrestling: Tigers pin Rockets in section oepner

Taylor Venz defeated 10th-ranked Logan Soltau in the 126-pound bout (photo by Jim Lindquist)
Third-seeded Farmington hammered sixth-seeded Rochester John Marshall 60-12 in the quarterfinals of the Section 1AAA team tournament held Thursday night at FHS.

The Tigers won 11 of the 13 individual matches contested on the mat and scored bonus points in 10 of them. The winners also picked up six points by forfeit.

Seven different Farmington wrestlers scored six-point falls: Victor Gliva (106 pounds); Jamie LeDuc (120); Brayden Chapman (138); John Walz (170); Joe Hoeve (182); Trevor Frost (195) and CJ Wynings 285).

Kyle Benjamin registered a technical fall in the 145-pound bout and in the most anticipated match-up of the night, Taylor Venz scored a dominating 14-6 major decision over Logan Soltau, the state's 10th ranked 126-pounder. Venz is ranked sixth at 120 pounds.

Santana Perdomo won the only straight decision of the night for the winners with a 7-5 verdict over Darnell Wheatley in the 160-pound match. Joe Liden (160) picked up Farmington's final six points with a forfeit win at 152 pounds.

The win vaulted Farmington (15-11) into a semifinal match-up with Owatonna (20-3), the seventh-rated Class AAA team in Minnesota, Saturday afternoon in Rochester. The two teams met during the regular season where the Huskies scored a 36-15 victory. 

John Walz won by pin the the 170-pound match (photo by Jim Lindquist)

13 February 2014

Tiger Scoreboard: February 14, 2014

Boys Hockey
Farmington 5 Shakopee 3
Tigers win first Missota Conference championship since 1975-76

Section 1AAA quarterfinals
Farmington 60 Rochester John Marshall 12

12 February 2014

Girls B-Ball: First half tells the story

Farmington dug itself a big first half hole and could never quite recover in a 56-44 Missota Conference loss at New Prague Tuesday night. The win avenged an earlier season loss to the Tigers when the teams met at Tiger Gym.

The Trojans used a trapping defense that although didn't result directly in turnovers did produce a flurry of rushed shots. New Prague led by a dozen at intermission, 33-21.

Forced and missed shots weren't the only problems for the visitors in the opening period.

"We got in some early foul trouble and were already missing Morgan Mach due to illness," coach Sondra Chadwick said. "That gave us a short bench and some tired kids.

"However, we played them evenly in the second half.  New Prague is a good team that is peaking at the right time, but we again need to overcome some of our lapses and be able to play a full game."

The Tigers played the Trojans even up over the final 18 minutes but were not able to significantly cut into the deficit.

The final shooting numbers told the tale of the game with the Tigers hitting only 15 of 46 from the floor for 32 percent.

Sofia Chadwick put up her second straight 20-plus points scoring performance, finishing with a game-high 22. The all-Missota Conference guard also accounted for six of the team's 13 steals. Abby Gallus scored six points and Alicia Hett had four.

The Tigers battled the taller Trojans to a draw on the boards (26-26) with Sarah Gorden leading the way with six rebounds.

"I was impressed with the fact that despite being pressed the whole game, we only had nine turnovers," coach Chadwick said. "They simply just shot better than us from the field."

Farmington (8-10) will try to get its shooting eye back Friday night the Tigers travel to Richfield for a Missota Conference contest with Holy Angels. Farmington prevailed 62-56 when the two teams meet earlier in the season at Tiger Gym.

Boys B-Ball: Sweet No. 16

Eli Rockett scores two of his game-high 22 points vs. New Prague (photo by Jim Lindquist)
Farmington pushed its season win total to 16, two more than all of last season, with a 65-57 triumph over New Prague Tuesday night at Tiger Gym. The Tigers are 16-7 overall and 6-5 in Missota Conference play.

"We did some good things when we made good decisions and took care of the basketball," Farmington coach Shane Wyandt.

"We knew New Prague wanted to slow things down and use their size but when we took our time and attacked their zone, we got easy baskets. When we didn't, we made poor decisions and turned the ball over too much."

The Tigers scored the first six points of the game, all on lay-ups, and looked to be on the way to a  night similar to their 77-61 win at New Prague earlier in the season.

The pesky Trojans, however, stuck around thanks to some easy baskets of their own and a rash of Farmington turnovers. Johnny Dittman's three-pointer with the clocking winding down gave Farmington a 32-22 halftime lead.

"In the game at their place we shot the lights out from outside," Wyandt said. "Tonight we weren't getting a lot of good outside looks. Fortunately, we made it up with some good play inside."

Zach Speikers 9 points (photo by J. Lindquist)
At times the Trojans played a front line that measured 6-10, 6-9 and 6-6 but for the most part the home team held its own on the boards.

New Prague pulled to within 47-40 with six minutes to play in the second half before a three-pointer by Mac Bassett and five straight points from Eli Rockett built the lead back to double digits.

Rockett finished with 22 points to lead an eight-man Farmington scoring contingent. Bassett and Zach Speikers had nine apiece and Jordan DeCroock and Nick Varner each chipped in with six.

"We still have a long way to go as far as smart decision-making goes," Wyandt said. "We're getting close to the post-season and we need to eliminate some of our carelessness with the basketball. That and playing at a higher energy level are two things we will be working on the rest of the way."

The Tigers will try to make it two straight conference wins Friday night when they host Holy Angels at Tiger Gym. Tip-off is slated for 7:30.

11 February 2014

Tiger Scoreboard: February 12, 2014

Boys Basketball
Farmington 65 New Prague 57

Girls Basketball
New Prague 56 Farmington 44