The 2018-2019 season came to an end Wednesday for the Farmington Tigers boys' basketball players after they lost to the Lakeville South Cougars 71-51 at Lakeville South in the first round of the Section 1AAAA playoffs. It was the four-versus-five matchup with the Tigers the No. 5 seed and Cougars No. 4. It was the third time this season the two teams faced each other, with the previous two games won by Lakeville South by identical 56-53 scores. Farmington head coach Tharen Johnson said that unlike previous games, his team struggled to contain the Cougars' two best players.
"We knew we had to slow down their two all-conference sophomore players, Mahlman the big kid in the middle, he's like 6'9' 270 (pounds) just a big kid, and then Reid Patterson, their left-handed shooting guard, he's one of the best sophomores probably in the state, and we didn't do a very good job of it," he said. "We had the first two times we played them, we kind of limited those guys and other guys kind of were forced to beat us but we didn't do a good enough job last night."
Patterson and Mahlman combined for 35 of Lakeville South's 71 points as Patterson scored 18 and Mahlman 17. Johnson said that they usually have more success limiting perimeter players with the variety of wings the Tigers can throw at them, but have struggled all season against teams with bigger centers.
"Miles (Mendes) did a pretty good job but then got in foul trouble and things kind of spiraled when he had to sit down," he said. "We did some things where we double-teamed him (Mahlman) a little bit but ultimately he just got too many touches down low."
Farmington started the game out in the lead, but once Lakeville South caught up and moved ahead they remained there the rest of the game.
"Right away we kind of got a little bit of a lead, we probably should have more of a lead we missed some easy shots right away to start the game, we were getting good looks that just weren't going down or were shots that we should make," Johnson said. "Instead of maybe having a seven or eight point lead right away it was only three or four and then they started putting a run on us and once they got the lead we never got it back."
"We turned the ball over too much, we just didn't shoot very well either," he said. "We shot actually pretty good from the 3-point line but inside we just couldn't hit or we just didn't make."
Senior Jameson Shrum led the Tigers with 14 points while sophomore Isaac Ask added 10. Seniors Jacob Bormann and Miles Mendes had eight points each. Farmington ends their season with an overall record of 12-15 including the playoffs. They lose seven seniors this spring to graduation-Alijah Moe, Shrum, Dylan Freetly, Graham Hertaus, Jaxson Vettrus, Bormann and Mendes-with Shrum, Bormann, Mendes and Hertaus being four of their top five scorers during the regular season.
Lakeville South goes on to face No. 1 Lakeville North on Monday, March 11, at Farmington in the section semifinals after North beat Owatonna by 40. On the bottom of the bracket, No. 2 Rochester John Marshall beat No. 7 Rochester Century by 17 and will face No. 3 New Prague on Monday after defeating No. 6 Rochester Mayo by nine.