Farmington, Woods Cross boys basketball have ups and downs in tourneysDec 23, 2021 08:55AM ● By Josh McFadden
It was a busy week for Farmington and Woods Cross boys on the hardwood. Both squads took part in pre-holiday tournaments. In the process, the Phoenix and Wildcats each faced some challenging competition.
The Phoenix played in their second tournament of the season last week, falling in both games to out-of-state teams. Farmington began this week with a 2-4 record after the setbacks.
On Dec. 10 and 11, Farmington was in the field of the Lehi Holiday Hoopfest, which included teams from across the nation. The Phoenix first met a squad from Norland, Florida, losing in a close game, 68-65 in overtime. In the back-and-forth affair, both teams put up a lot of points in the extra period. However, it was Norland who prevailed by outscoring Farmington 19-16 in overtime.
The loss didn’t come without some good performances for Farmington players. Collin Chandler amassed 30 points and hit a trio of three-pointers. Teammate Devin Day added 20 points and four three-pointers. But no other Phoenix player had more than five points on the day. Farmington also shot just eight free throws, while Norland put up a whopping 28 attempts.
The following day, Farmington faced the Knights of Kimball, Texas. The Phoenix got off to a good start, leading 20-15 after a high-scoring first quarter. Kimball responded to take a 36-35 halftime lead. Things were all tied up at 51-51 after three quarters, but that’s when Kimball took over, outscoring Farmington 24-17 in the final six minutes, winning the game 75-68. Farmington had the edge in free throws in this matchup, making 23 to Kimball’s 15. But Kimball hit 32 field goals to Farmington’s 22.
In the loss, Chandler had another excellent game with 28 points and a pair of three-pointers. Cole Johnson had 13 points, while Paul Beattie contributed a dozen points.
Farmington played at Bingham on Tuesday after our press deadline, followed by a road game at Highland on Thursday.
As for the Wildcats, their tournament was a successful one, as the team went 2-1 to improve to 4-2 overall.
Woods Cross played in the Northern Utah Shootout Dec. 9–11, first facing Sky View. This was a close one, with Woods Cross suffering a heartbreaking 55-54 defeat. This back-and-forth contest saw neither team lead by more than a few possessions for most of the game. Woods Cross led by a single basket, 43-41, as the fourth quarter began. However, Sky View got the better of the Wildcats in the final period, winning by one.
Nic Hogan led Woods Cross with 18 points on the day, while Mason Bendinger chipped in 17. Hogan was also the game’s leading rebounder with nine. Jaxon Smith had 12 points and five rebounds in a losing effort.
The Wildcats bounced back in a big way on Dec. 10, crushing Taylorsville 87-53. Woods Cross used a dominant 22-9 first quarter to help in the victory, but the team really broke the game open in the third quarter. Leading 44-28 at halftime, Woods Cross blitzed the Warriors in the third with a 30-14 run to take an insurmountable 32-point lead into the final period. Woods Cross shot 55% from the field and had four players reach double figures in scoring. Smith paced the Wildcats with 23 points. Bendinger and Zach Delange each had 15 points, while Hogan had 10 points. George Makris had eight points to nearly reach double figures, and he added four rebounds and three steals in the win.
Woods Cross finished the tournament in style. On Dec. 11, the Wildcats had another big offensive day, recording 86 points in a 14-point triumph. They had at least 17 points in each quarter, including 26 in the fourth to seal the win. Bendinger was the game-high scorer with 26. Smith had 21 points and five rebounds. Delange was a big part of the win too, as he had 19 points and four assists.
The Wildcats will host Fremont on Friday.