Farm­ing­ton Faces Life Af­ter Wil­son

Washington County Enterprise-Leader - - SPORTS - By Mark Humphrey

FARM­ING­TON — Bas­ket­ball was on dis­play Satur­day as the 2017-2018 Farm­ing­ton boys bas­ket­ball team took to the court at Car­di­nal Arena in the pro­gram’s an­nual Tip-Off.

Farm­ing­ton coach Beau Thompson knows he has an en­tirely dif­fer­ent team schematic than from a year ago when high-scor­ing Matt Wil­son (28 points-per-game), who has since gone on to Delta State, was the main gun.

“Last year, we had the ul­ti­mate mask­ing tape,” Thompson said. “There were games we could not play our best and Wil­son could still score enough to carry us through. This year we’re go­ing to have to get dou­ble-digit scor­ing from three or four guys every game.”

Thompson spec­i­fied he isn’t ex­pect­ing 20 to 25 points per-player, yet em­pha­sizes the need for mul­ti­ple scor­ers to pro­duce 12 to 15 points-per-con­test to keep the Car­di­nals in games.

“We will be more bal­anced, that lets us do a few more things on of­fense,” Thompson said.

Two of the key play­ers who must score con­sis­tently are se­niors Xavier Staten (6-4) and Skyler Mon­tez (6-1), both of whom, along with cen­ter Ja­cob Gray (6-2), are ca­pa­ble of dunk­ing on op­po­nents.

“For all in­ten­sive pur­poses, Xavier State and Sky­lar Mon­tez, are three-year play­ers for us,” Thompson said. “We played them a lot as sopho­mores. We’re go­ing to de­pend on them to score and put the ball in the hoop. Ja­cob Gray will pa­trol the mid­dle. The big­gest thing is we’ve got to keep him out of foul trou­ble. He’s never had to worry about foul trou­ble be­fore com­ing off the bench as a backup.”

“Mon­tez shot the ball well for us in prac­tice,” Thompson said. “Staten, at 6-4, is ca­pa­ble of shoot­ing it on the perime­ter. We’re go­ing to have nights where we don’t shoot it well. On those nights, we’re go­ing to have to go to the of­fen­sive glass and do that well.”

Farm­ing­ton’s back­court look will be de­cided dif­fer­ent with two pri­mary ball-han­dlers grad­u­ated. Re­turn­ing is se­nior Pay­ton Maxwell, who came off the bench last year as a backup point guard.

“He did a good job in that role last year,” Thompson said. “He’s go­ing to have to step into a start­ing role this year.”

As far as the 5A West goes, Alma has the most re­turn­ing play­ers from a league that was dom­i­nated by se­niors at al­most every school last year. Thompson notes Har­ri­son re­places five starters, but with five new starters, who are very good.

“We’re big and phys­i­cal, but so is Har­ri­son and Alma,” Thompson said. “They’re very com­pa­ra­ble to us, if not big­ger. The league will be about the same, very tough com­pe­ti­tion every night.”

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