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Capital Resilience

CARDS DEFY EXILE AND WIN by Mark Humphrey | January 12, 2022 at 7:30 a.m.

FARMINGTON -- Farmington capitalized upon rallying around the exile of its leading scorer, Layne Taylor, by beating a conference opponent for the second time in four days Friday.

The Cardinals might feel like they're living a script right out of Star Wars with their scoring leader, sophomore Layne Taylor, a standout guard who set a new school single game scoring record with 61 points against Huntsville in December, wearing a walking boot and exiled to the bench after sustaining a high ankle sprain in the first quarter of a Tuesday, Jan. 4 game at Prairie Grove.

Farmington finished its second straight game in the win column without Layne Taylor as the Cardinals edged Harrison, 50-47, in Cardinal Arena on Friday.

It was like a rag-tag bunch of Jedi sympathizers who survived General Order No. 66 daring to hope in a Republic that could be revived flying x-wing fighters into a direct confrontation against the Death Star without Obi-Wan Kenobi.

Logan Plumlee scored a game high 25 points to pace the Goblins. Harrison battled its way back into getting an opportunity to tie after working back from a 45-37 deficit early in the fourth quarter, but Caleb Blakely blocked Owen Styles's shot. Farmington wound up with possession and held off the Goblins in spite of misfiring at the free-throw line.

Blakely led the Cardinals with 14 points and Mateo Carbonel added 10. Farmington got 9 from Logan Burch and 7 points apiece from Nathan Monroe and Maddox Mahan.

Farmington coach Johnny Taylor described the team mindset days earlier after having to finish a game at Prairie Grove without Layne Taylor.

"Our kids are so disciplined in their approach offensively it always gives us a chance. Then we play so hard defensively and our ball pressure was really good," Johnny Taylor said.

Carbonel tracked down the ball off the opening tip and the Cardinals ran a minute off the first quarter before shooting. Harrison's first two possessions ended in turnovers. Sam Wells made a steal and Monroe tapped the ball out-of-bounds off Harrison's Logan Plumlee.

Wells sank a free throw for an early 1-0 Cardinal lead. One early possession illustrated the Cardinals' desire to win as they pounded the offensive boards like ghost busters. Carbonel had two offensive rebounds and Blakely one in the sequence.

Blakely took a steal coast-to-coast utilizing a crossover dribble switching from his right to left in traffic to get to the goal for a transition bucket and a 3-0 Farmington lead.

Harrison didn't score until over three-and-a-half minutes expired when Plumlee hit from 15-feet. Farmington responded by alternating between holding the ball and working a four corners offense, then kicking the ball out to a wide-open Logan Burch, who canned a 3-pointer.

Harrison survived two Cardinal deflections before Gatlin James hit a 10-footer to make it 6-4. Farmington answered with Wells catching the ball in the paint and feeding Monroe on a give-and-go that resulted in an old-fashioned 3-point play and faster than you can say "Tattoonie," Farmington led 9-4.

Plumlee made a three but missed a pair of free throws late in the first period which ended with Farmington in front, 9-7.

The Cardinals endured a 9-2 Harrison run in the last 3:30 of the second quarter that put the Goblins up 18-16 at the half.

Logan Burch launched a pair of torpedoes coming off a screen and on a cross-court feed from Monroe scoring six straight points to push Farmington back in front, 25-24, in the third.

Harrison scored the next four points, but Monroe had their number. He took the in-bounds pass following Harrison's 3-pointer and drove the length of the court for a layup.

Harrison turned the ball over trying to in-bound which allowed Farmington to play the ball in underneath its own basket. Monroe's pass got tipped but he doggedly tracked down the loose ball preventing a turnover and eventually got off a shot that led to Blakely's putback. Monroe rebounded the next Goblin shot and was fouled. He asserted himself at the other end driving left and banking in a contested 12-footer giving the Cardinals a 31-28 lead.

Glidewell sank free throws for Harrison before Monroe added to his highlight reel with an alley oop lob to Blakely. Glidewell matched that with a putback. Blakely drew a foul on a drive and made 1-of-2 free throws with 2.2 seconds showing in the third to give Farmington a 34-32 edge going into the fourth.

The Cardinals shook off a controversial ruling when Blakely appeared to rob Plumlee with a clean block but goal tending was called allowing the Goblins to tie the game.

On a set play Mateo went left and beat his man down the box for a layup beginning a 6-0 Farmington mini run. Blakely took a steal to the goal but missed. Maddox Mahan snared the rebound drawing a foul and making both free throws.

Harrison took a quick shot. Carson Dearing rebounded and passed the outlet to Monroe, who pushed the ball and spotted Carbonel ahead of the pack for a layup and 40-34 Farmington advantage.

Coming out of a time-out Plumlee made a long three to make the score 40-37 in favor of Farmington but the Cardinals would match the Goblins point-for-point from that juncture.

Plumee's trey narrowed Farmington's lead to 46-45 capping a 5-0 mini run by the Goblins with 1:42 left.

After a Harrison time-out Blakely beat his man off the dribble and went in for a layup giving Farmington a 48-45 cushion. Plumlee had to come off the 3-point line and cut into the lane where he received a pass and hit a floater.

Going the other way Monroe recorded his sixth assist of the game on a nice feed to Carbonel, who momentarily hesitated freezing the defenders and making them think he might pass it back out. Instead Carbonel went up strong and scored putting Farmington back into a 3-point lead at 50-47 with the clock down to 33.4 seconds.

Farmington coach Johnny Taylor took time-out and assigned Wells the task of guarding Plumlee. Wells dogged Plumlee making him circle the half-court before getting the ball, then slipping past a screen and forcing Plumlee to pass off. Plumlee got the ball back but Wells induced him into taking an off-balance shot in the lane.

Owen Styles was in the game because one of the Goblin starters fouled out. He got the rebound but Blakely rejected his shot with a two-handed block and Dearing controlled the rebound for Farmington. He was fouled and missed both free throws but Carbonel secured the final rebound to all but seal the 50-47 conference win with 8 tenths of a second left.

Farmington 50, Harrison 47



Farmington (16-1, 3-0): Caleb Blakely 6 2-3 14, Mateo Carbonel 3 4-6 10, Logan Burch 3 0-0 9, Nathan Monroe 3 1-1 7, Maddox Mahan 2 2-2 7, Sam Wells 1 1-2 3, Carson Dearing 0 0-2 0. Totals 18 10-16 50.

Harrison (9-7, 2-1): Logan Plumlee 8 5-5 25, Abraham Glidewell 4 4-5 12, Gatlin James 2 0-0 5, Kason Hilligoss 1 0-0 3, Owen Styles 1 0-0 2. Totals 16 9-10 47.

3-Point Goals -- Farmington 4 (Burch 3, Mahan), Harrison 6 (Plumlee 4, James, Hilligoss).

Rebounds -- Farmington 21 (Blakely 7). Assists -- Farmington 13 (Monroe 6). Steals -- Farmington 10 (Blakely 4). Blocks -- Farmington 1 (Blakely).

Print Headline: Capital Resilience


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