PRAIRIE GROVE -- Seemingly Harrison had everything going its way, Caroline Cecil's rare 4-point play was followed by Brynn Oleson's trey, but Farmington flipped the switch and won 54-41.
The Lady Cardinals took Harrison's best shot and came back fighting. Farmington's lock-down defense blanketed Harrison for almost the last two-and-a-half minutes of both halves on the way to winning the District 4A-1 tournament championship by 13 points Saturday, Feb. 22, at Prairie Grove's Tiger Arena.
The Lady Goblins threw a haymaker punch, staggering Farmington with a 20-4 run over a 7:22 span of the first and second quarters. Cecil converted a 4-point play and Oleson hit a 3-pointer sandwiched around a Farmington time-out to cap the run with Harrison leading 24-16.
The Lady Goblins expended a lot of energy while roaring back from an early 12-2 deficit when Farmington's Trinity Johnson dialed up a trifecta with 5:52 elapsed in the first quarter. Momentum didn't change when Lady Cardinal coach Brad Johnson halted play to talk things over before Cecil stroked the 'and one' free throw, but Oleson's triple became the last points of the half for Harrison.
Sophomore Morgan Brye came off the bench to end Farmington's 4:48 scoring drought. She took a long pass from Makenna Vanzant and made a layup, then added a free throw later to trim the deficit to 24-19 at halftime.
Farmington clamped down defensively holding Harrison to five points in the third. The Lady Cardinals took control by scoring 10 of the next 13 points to regain the lead at 29-27 on Joelle Tidwell's 3-pointer.
Cecil, who led Harrison with 15 points, drove to the hoop to tie the game but Farmington proved equal to the task, scoring eight unanswered points.
Makenna Vanzant busted a trey. Tori Kersey blocked a Harrison shot and Vanzant wound up with the outlet in transition. Dangerous in the open court she fed Trinity Johnson, who scored a layup, and Farmington racked up a 34-29 lead at the quarter break.
The first possession of the fourth concluded with Audrey Culpepper making an extra pass to Vanzant set up for a 3-pointer and the Lady Cardinals increased their cushion to 37-29 forcing Harrison to fight an uphill battle.
Harrison showed how the Lady Goblins won 24 games-in-a-row from Dec. 3, 2019, through Feb. 14 when Farmington handed them a 74-60 loss at Goblin Arena. The Lady Goblins used a 7-2 run in just over a minute to close within 47-41 on Sydney Shrum's 3-pointer at the 2:27 mark, but never scored again.
Farmington sealed the win and district championship by knocking down 9-of-10 free throws in the last two minutes.
Kersey topped Farmington with 14 points, 2 steals, and shared rebounding honors with Tidwell, who had 9 points, 6 rebounds and 3 assists. Vanzant finished with 11 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 blocks.
The win assured Farmington of a No. 1 seed going into the 4A North Regional at Berryville Feb. 26-29 and put the Lady Cardinals one win away from securing a berth in the Class 4A State basketball tournament it hosted March 4-7 at Cardinal Arena.
Farmington 54, Harrison 41
Farmington (26-3, 12-0): Tori Kersey 6-9 2-4 14, Makenna Vanzant 3-9 2-2 11, Trinity Johnson 3-13 2-2 10, Joelle Tidwell 2-4 4-4 9, Carson Dillard 2-4 0-0 4, Audrey Culpepper 1-3 0-0 3, Morgan Brye 1-1 1-2 3. Totals 18-43 11-14 54.
Harrison (25-3, 10-1): Caroline Cecil 5 3-4 15, Brynn Oleson 3 2-3 9, Marion Groberg 3 0-0 7, Sydney Shrum 2 1-2 6, Kenzie Parker 1 2-2 4. Totals 14 8-11 41.
3-Point Goals -- Farmington 7-24 (Vanzant 3-7, Trinity Johnson 2-11, Tidwell 1-1, Culpepper 1-3, Dillard 0-2), Harrison 5 (Cecil 2, Groberg, Oleson, Shrum).
Rebounds -- Farmington 29 (Tidwell 6, Kersey 6), Harrison 37. Assists -- Farmington 14 (Culpepper 3, Kersey 3, Tidwell 3, Vanzant 3), Harrison 6. Steals -- Farmington 6 (Kersey 2), Harrison 4. Blocks -- Farmington 3 (Vanzant 2), Harrison 1. Turnovers -- Farmington 7.Sports on 05/20/2020
Print Headline: Farmington Girls Flip Switch Against Harrison