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Cardinals Learn From Shot Selection Mistakes

by Mark Humphrey, Rick Fires | February 17, 2021 at 5:00 a.m.

HUNTSVILLE -- Three days after blowing a 10-point lead in the fourth quarter and losing to Pea Ridge, 64-63, on Jan. 12, Farmington avoided repeating those same mistakes against Huntsville.

Layne Taylor scored 25 points and Caleb Blakely 16 to lead Farmington to a 63-58 victory over Huntsville in 4A-1 Conference boys basketball play at Charles H. Berry Gymnasium on Friday, Jan. 15.

Farmington rallied in the final minutes after Huntsville began the fourth quarter on a 9-0 run to take a 53-48 lead after a rainbow three-pointer by Slayter Watkins.

"Our zone struggled," said Farmington coach Johnny Taylor, explaining the perimeter wasn't covered well in the zone. "I should have got out of the zone quicker."

Farmington shot 55 percent from the field to 44 percent for Huntsville. The Eagles were solid behind the 3-point line at 33 percent, but that paled in comparison to a sizzling 60-percent performance by the Cardinals. Both teams shot well at the free-throw-line with Farmington at 81 percent and Huntsville at 74 percent.

In contrast to the previous Tuesday, Farmington regained the lead and held on behind Layne Taylor, a freshman guard who tied the game with a three-pointer before making 6-of-7 free throws in the final seconds for the Cardinals (8-4, 3-1).

In the loss to Pea Ridge, Farmington went 6-for-26 from the 3-point line, but in the first half against Huntsville, the Cardinals were 4-of-5 beyond the arc while looking for quality shots.

Roman Carlson added 12 points for Farmington while Matthew Sisk scored 20 points to lead Huntsville (6-8, 1-2).

Farmington received a big game from Blakely, who battled inside for points and rebounds and added key free throws down the stretch.

"Caleb Blakely is a sophomore, and he doesn't know yet how good he can be," Johnny Taylor said. "He gets every rebound. He hadn't been making his free throws the last two games, but he's making them now."

Huntsville had opportunities in the final seconds but the Eagles were hurt by consecutive turnovers. Huntsville also missed some late shots while being closely guarded.

"Defensively, we did a good job of getting multiple stops late in the game," Johnny Taylor said.

Both teams had 14-0 runs in the first half, which ended with Farmington leading 28-25.

Carlson had the hot hand early with two three-pointers from the corner to stake the Cardinals to a 10-2 lead. The shots started falling for Huntsville, and the Eagles pulled ahead 16-10 with Sisk and Mason Davidson providing the offense. Sisk made two foul-line jumpers and a layup, and Mason Davidson contributed consecutive three-pointers.

Huntsville built its biggest lead at 22-14 in the second quarter before Farmington overtook the Eagles with its own 14-0 surge. Layne Taylor, who was quiet for much of the first half, scored seven points and assisted on baskets by Blakely and Carson Simmons.

Farmington 63, Huntsville 58

Huntsville^16^9^19^14^--^58

Farmington^12^16^21^14^--^63

Farmington (8-4, 3-1): Layne Taylor 8 7-8 25, Caleb Blakely 5 4-5 14, Roman Carlson 4 1-2 12, Mateo Carbonel 3 0-0 7, Carson Simmons 2 1-2 5. Totals 22 13-11 63.

Huntsville (6-8, 1-2): Matthew Sisk 6 6-6 20, Mason Davidson 4 3-4 13, Hayden Dotson 4 4-10 12, Slayter Watkins 2 0-0 6, Luke Jones 2 0-0 5, Hunter Davidson 1 0-0 3 . Totals 19 13-20 58.

3-Point Goals -- Farmington 6 (Carlson 3, Layne Taylor 2, Carbonel), Huntsville 7 (M. Davidson 2, Sisk 2, Watkins 2, H. Davidson).

Rebounds -- Farmington 19, Huntsville 25. Assists -- Farmington 12, Huntsville 9. Steals -- Farmington 4, Huntsville 3. Blocks -- Farmington 1, Huntsville 1.

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