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

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.

Perime­ter De­fense

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.

Crit­i­cal Fouls

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.

No Calls

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.

Tour­na­ment Ex­pe­ri­ence

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...

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