STATE TREK: NEMESIS
FARMINGTON GETS HUNG UP VS. PARKVIEW AGAIN
MAUMELLE — Two years removed from the 6A ranks, Little Rock Parkview proved to be Farmington’s nemesis during the Lady Cardinals’ last two trips to the State 5A girls basketball tournament.
Last season Farmington advanced to the 5A State semifinals before running into Parkview on March 4, 2017 at Magnolia. Coming into Friday’s quarterfinal played at Maumelle High School the 2018 matchup versus Parkview looked to be a little more favorable for Farmington — at least on paper. Parkview graduated a trio of 6-footers plus starting point-guard Morgan Brady, who scored 16 points as the 2017 Lady Patriots handed Farmington a 55-47 loss.
Parkview Coach Lahoma Howard remembered what happened last year. Distinct advantages tended to favor her team in key areas. Parkview defended well on the perimeter. Madisyn Pense made four treys, Farmington’s only 3-pointers, and also had a driving layup.
“She continues to expand her game,” said Farmington coach Brad Johnson. “The scouting report on her is people chase her from the 3-point line. She is going to have to find other ways to score.”
Keying On Vanzant
This season, like last, much of Farmington’s offense is triggered by Makenna Vanzant’s dribble penetration. Last year, Vanzant scored 14 points in the first 12:25 of the 2017 State 5A semifinal game, sparking Farmington to a 22-18 lead. She would finish with 22 by making 12-of-14 free throws. Howard adjusted and Parkview limited Vanzant to a single point during an 11-1 finish to the second quarter. Vanzant only managed 5 second-half points. On Friday Vanzant was held to 10 with 9 coming in the fourth quarter.
A key to Parkview’s victory in Friday’s quarterfinal were critical fouls assessed against Farmington, including at least three charging fouls that could have gone the other way. Vanzant was scoreless in the first half, partially due to sitting out the last 10:54 with foul trouble. She was whistled for her first foul on a charging call with 4:51 elapsed in the first quarter. The next stoppage of play occurred 15 seconds later with another foul called on Vanzant.
The next target of the whistle became Pense, who nailed
3-pointer to put Farmington ahead, 20-16, at the 5:21 mark of the second quarter. Just over a minute later she was whistled for a touch foul, her second, and went to the bench for the final 4:15 of the second quarter.
Six seconds later Kaylan Larry made her only 3-pointer of the game to pull Parkview with a point. Farmington’s Joelle Tidwell then began to assert herself offensively. The 5-9 sophomore drove around Larry, who fouled her. Tidwell sank both as did Eliza Ball after clearing a defensive rebound at the other end. Tidwell scored a layup as Farmington beat the press to cap a 6-0 run in 31 seconds. Tidwell was tagged with two fouls in the next 54 seconds.
With 47 seconds remaining in the second quarter, junior Farmington forward Alexis Roach, who led the Lady Cardinals with 15 points (10 in the first half), drove hard to the goal. She was hammered coming down the paint. No foul was called, but the ball bounced right back in her hands. Her momentum carried her forward and she laid the ball in for two. Farmington led 30-23 at the half.
With three seconds on the third quarter clock Vanzant’s legs were taken out from under her while pushing the ball up the floor. The contact was obvious, still the sound of a whistle wasn’t heard and Farmington did not get off a shot nor go to the foul line as the period ended with Parkview leading 46-43.
Vulnerable To Runs
Last year, Parkview had runs of 15-1 and 16-2 and Howard was aware of DeQueen’s 14-2 run against Farmington in the firstround. On Friday Parkview wasn’t able to sustain any major first half runs. Disdaining a time-out even after Farmington took a 41-29 lead on a Pense trey, Howard let the Lady Patriots play on looking for her opportunity.
That came when Vanzant drew her third foul and checked out for 3:40 of the third. Mikayla Alexander put in her own miss and added a free throw cutting Farmington’s lead to 41-34 accounting for the fifth point of a 22-2 Parkview run that was finally broken with Tidwell ending a 5:54 Farmington scoring drought at the free-throw line.
After making free throws that pulled Farmington within 51-45 with 5:18 remaining in the fourth, Tidwell had a basket taken away by a charging foul.
Howard employed a ball-hawking full-court press creating multiple turnovers and the Lady Patriots converted. Alexander had 11 points during the run, including a 3-pointer followed by a steal leading to a 3-point play, sandwiched around Lasker’s basket off a theft. Farmington could not overcome the 22-2 Parkview run.
The Lady Cardinals finished with a 26-6 record. Johnson has guided the Lady Cardinals to four state quarterfinal appearances since 2011-2012 with a State Runner-up finish in 2012 in 4A.
Tidwell, who saw extensive action as a freshman coming off the bench in Farmington’s run to the 2017 semifinals, described playing in the state tournament as a very, competitive environment.
“It gives you experience,” Tidwell said. “You need to know what to expect and to understand every team here is good and you have to bring your best.”
Farmington sophomore Makenna Vanzant absorbs a foul while making a driving layup during Friday’s semifinal action versus Little Rock Parkview. For the second consecutive year, Parkview ended Farmington’s State 5A girls basketball tournament run by...