Car­di­nals’ third quar­ter key in win over Pan­thers

■ Farm­ing­ton de­feated Siloam Springs 58-52 in a non­con­fer­ence game Satur­day.

Siloam Springs Herald Leader - - SPORTS - By Mike Capshaw Spe­cial to the Her­ald-Leader

FARM­ING­TON — A third quar­ter run and free throws were the dif­fer­ence in the Siloam Springs boys bas­ket­ball team’s 58-52 loss against Farm­ing­ton on Satur­day, Dec. 1.

The Pan­thers (2-1) kept it close in the early go­ing as the teams were dead­locked at 14-14 at the end of the first quar­ter and the Car­di­nals (2-3) held a slim 25-23 lead at half­time.

“We dug our­selves a lit­tle hole there in the third quar­ter,” said Siloam Springs coach Tim Ste­wart. “We had a lit­tle spurt there late, but give Farm­ing­ton credit, they were able to han­dle our pres­sure. We were never able to main­tain our pres­sure con­sis­tently with­out foul­ing, and they hit their free throws and had that third quar­ter run that we couldn’t quite over­come.”

Farm­ing­ton outscored Siloam Springs 16-7 in a third quar­ter that in­cluded an 11-0 Car­di­nals’ run. The cul­prit be­hind the run was three, 3-point­ers by Farm­ing­ton, in­clud­ing two by point guard Jay­den Whit­more, who

was left open at the top of the key against the Pan­thers’ zone de­fense.

“They flat­tened their zone out and weren’t guard­ing our point guard, and he stepped up to kind of break the game open,” said Farm­ing­ton coach Beau Thomp­son. “Siloam played ex­tremely hard, was scrappy and phys­i­cal, just like they al­ways are. They’re al­ways hard to score on with that 3-2 (zone de­fense). It took us three quar­ters to crack it.

“With our prox­im­ity, we played them two or three times dur­ing the sum­mer, so the kids know each other re­ally well. It may be as close to an out of con­fer­ence ri­val as we’ve got, and coach Ste­wart does a great job.”

Farm­ing­ton hit 22 of 25 free throws, in­clud­ing a 12 of 12 ef­fort by Will Prid­more, a Prairie Grove trans­fer who fin­ished with a game-high 24 points. The se­nior sank all six of his free throw at­tempts in the fourth quar­ter to help se­cure the vic­tory.

“We’ve been try­ing to work on end-of-game sit­u­a­tions be­cause we lost a lot of close games last year, and mak­ing free throws are a big part of that,” Thomp­son said. “We made them tonight. We played with pretty good en­ergy for this be­ing our fourth game this week, and this was a good end­ing to the week. These pre­sea­son, pre­con­fer­ence games are all about try­ing to get bet­ter.”

Siloam Springs jumped out to a 10-6 lead to be­gin the game thanks to a tra­di­tional three-point play by Drew Va­chon and a 3-pointer from the cor­ner by Ja­cob Wake­field, who led the Pan­thers with 13 points. The Cards fin­ished out the first quar­ter on an 8-4 run to even the score at 14-14.

“They were switch­ing from man to zone (de­fenses) and it did keep us off bal­ance,” Ste­wart said. “Both teams made plays, but at the end of the day, they stuck to their game plan bet­ter than we did. Our ef­fort was good, that’s one thing we never have to worry about. Our kids play hard.”

In the sec­ond quar­ter, the Pan­thers would again take a lead (19-14) with Mur­phy Perkins cap­ping a 5-0 spurt by driving down the left side of the lane for a bucket. But Farm­ing­ton would get a 3-pointer by Whit­more and six free throws by Prid­more to grab a 25-23 ad­van­tage by half­time.

Perkins made a snap down-court pass to Car­son Wlek­lin­ski for a layup to trim the Car­di­nals’ lead to 30-27 mid­way through the third quar­ter, but Farm­ing­ton would answer with an 11-0 run to take over con­trol of the game.

Siloam Springs got as close as 47-45 on a 3-pointer by Kar­son Cle­ment and a steal and layup by Perkins with 2:45 re­main­ing in reg­u­la­tion, but Farm­ing­ton would ice the game by hit­ting 11 of 11 of their free throw at­tempts in the fourth quar­ter, in­clud­ing their fi­nal seven in the fi­nal 2:14 to fin­ish off the win.

“We weren’t very sharp to­day,” Ste­wart said. “We were miss­ing a cou­ple of play­ers who may have fac­tored into it. We’ve just got to keep get­ting bet­ter. Farm­ing­ton did a good job of keep­ing their com­po­sure and hit­ting their free throws.

“It’s a chance for us to get bet­ter and that’s what these early sea­son games are all about.”

Siloam Springs was sched­uled to play Coweta, Okla., Tues­day in the open­ing round of the Jerry Oquin In­vi­ta­tional held in Inola, Okla. Re­sults were not avail­able at presstime.

The Pan­thers will be back in ac­tion ei­ther on Thurs­day night or Fri­day night pend­ing the re­sults of Tues­day’s game.

Farm­ing­ton 58, Siloam Springs 52

Siloam Springs 14 9 7 22 — 52 Farm­ing­ton 14 11 16 17 — 58 Siloam Springs (2-1): Wake­field 13, Cle­ment 10, Va­chon 7, Ste­wart 7, Ward 6, Perkins 5, Nor­berg 2, Wlek­lin­ski 2. Farm­ing­ton (2-3): Prid­more 24, Whit­more 12, Mon­tez 8, Valen­zuela 7, Mayo 3, McKin­ley 2, Vollmer 2.

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