Farmington Faces Life After Wilson
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.”