The Farmington and Rosemount girls' basketball teams met for the first time this season on Thursday, Jan. 3, in Farmington. The Tigers came away with a 63-40 victory after both teams got off to a slow start offensively in a game that saw good defense on both sides, but Farmington simply just had more weapons and ways to generate offense.
The first 10 minutes saw both teams struggle on offense but also play very well on defense. Rosemount was missing one of their main ball-handlers and playmakers in sophomore Helen Staley, an absence that the Irish really felt, as Farmington played an aggressive trap-defense that gave Rosemount problems. Meanwhile, the Irish gave the Tigers problems by playing a 2-3 zone in the first half. As a result, it was just 7-6 Farmington seven minutes into the game and 12-11 Tigers with eight minutes left in the half.
A result of Farmington's aggressiveness on defense was some early foul trouble but they had the depth to handle it. The Tigers also were able to get things to click offensively and go on a run to end the first half, going into halftime with a 29-16 lead. One bright spot for the Irish was the individual play of junior Taylor Janssen who had 13 of Rosemount's 16 points in the first half, coming from 3-point range and in the post, on top of her role in helping facilitating the offense, rebounding and defensively.
It was a rough start to the second half for Rosemount as Farmington scored the first nine points of the half for a 22 point lead. From there the Irish were not able to make a significant dent in the Tiger lead as sophomore Peyton Blandin scored 12 points in the second half, along with seven from sophomore Sophie Hart and eight from sophomore Paige Kindseth. The reserves came in with about two minutes left and 63-40 was the final.
To highlight some individual efforts from both teams, Janssen did a little bit of everything for Rosemount as she scored 21 of their 40 points-including four 3-pointers. Sophomore Ivory Finley was tied as the second-leading scorer with five points and proved to be a tenacious rebounder as she battled with Hart and Tiger senior Kaitlin Winston. Freshman Tayah Leenderts provided a spark for Rosemount in the second half, also adding five points. Junior Gianna Freking, freshman Anna Tauer and freshman Ava Whelan all had three points each.
Blandin led the Tigers in scoring with 17 points-doing most of her damage from 3-point land and at the free throw line-and was the spark that extended the Tigers' lead to over 20 in the second half. Hart had 14 points made her presence known (especially in the second half) with strong offensive rebounding, put-backs and free-throw shooting. Kindseth added 11 points after starting the first half cold but eventually finding her shooting stroke in the second. Last but certainly not least was junior point guard Molly Mogensen, who was her usual steady self and really showed her leadership while helping to solve and navigate Rosemount's 2-3 zone, as well as contributing eight points of her own.
With the loss to Farmington, Rosemount now sits a 7-4 overall but 0-4 in the South Suburban Conference after going 2-0 at the Rochester Rotary Holiday Classic over the Holidays. The Irish beat Rochester John Marshall 62-42 on Thursday, Dec. 27, and then Chaska 53-47 on Dec. 28.
Three Irish players scored in double-figures in their win over Rochester John Marshall-Staley and freshman Alexa Ratzlaff both had 13 points-while Janssen added 10. Leenderts scored eight points while Tauer contributed six.
The game against Chaska was close throughout as the Irish led by just four at halftime and held on to win by six, 53-47. Staley and Ratzlaff once again led Rosemount with 14 points each while Janssen had 13. Leenderts added eight.
The Irish traveled to Eastview on Tuesday, Jan. 8, and then host Burnsville on Friday, Jan. 11. \
The Tigers remain undefeated with the win over the Irish and then a blowout of Owatonna on Saturday. They sit at 10-0 overall and 4-0 in the SSC, which puts them at the top of the conference with Shakopee. Farmington is currently ranked No. 4 in Class 4A behind Hopkins, Wayzata and Stillwater and have three road games this week-they went to Prior Lake on Tuesday, Jan. 8, at Shakopee on Friday, Jan. 11, and then at East Ridge on Saturday.
Over the holidays Farmington also went 2-0 at the St. Olaf Holiday Hoops Classic, beating Grand Rapids 63-41 in the first round and Northfield 73-44 in the second. This past Saturday, they routed Owatonna on the road 81-36.
In the game against Grand Rapids on Thursday, Dec. 27, the Tigers led by 17 at halftime before winning by 22. Hart led all scorers with 16 points, followed by junior Morgan Ebel with 14 and Kindseth with 10. Sophomore Peyton Blandin added nine points as eight total Tigers scored in the win.
With their Friday game against Visitation cancelled, Farmington next played host Northfield on Saturday and they blew out the Raiders. They held a decent 33-20 lead at halftime but then outscored the Raiders by 16 in the second half to win by 29. The Farmington offense stayed well-balanced with three players scoring 15 points or more and nine total with at least one basket. Kindseth led with 16 points while both Blandin and junior Molly Mogensen scored 15. Hart and senior Kaitlin Winston both added eight points while Hart also had double-digit rebounds.
No stats were yet available for the Owatonna game.