Cardinals’ third quarter key in win over Panthers
■ Farmington defeated Siloam Springs 58-52 in a nonconference game Saturday.
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.