Farmington Overpowers Eagles For FCNB Title

Farmington used a 13-3 run on Friday to build up a double-digit lead in the second quarter and cruise to a 70-52 victory against Sullivan in the FCNB Bank It Challenge championship.

The Eagles (3-1) stayed within reach throughout most of the first quarter despite Farmington’s overwhelming size advantage.

With the Knights boasting a front court of Cole Laurence (6-8), Cole Gerstenberger (6-5) and tournament MVP Tycen Gray (6-4), Sullivan needed to replicate their success beyond the arc. But Farmington mostly sealed off the perimeter and kept Cody McKinney from getting open on screens. When the Eagles attacked the rim, they were challenged by Laurence, who protected the rim to the tune of three blocks.

Farmington got off to a quick start with a drive by Brant Gray, a steal and a fastbreak by Gerstenberger and a 3-pointer by Bryce Sancegraw, but the Eagles remained within striking distance on the strength of triples by Austin Frye and Landon Hoffman.

Hoffman drew contact on a 3-point attempt with 4:10 left in the period, converting two of three attempts to tie the game at 8-8.

Farmington answered with a putback by Tycen Gray and Gerstenberger banking an inside shot.

McKinney, who was held scoreless through the first 12 minutes, found Carter Adams on a slash-and-kick in the corner for 3, making it 12-11 with 2:50 remaining.  The Knights returned fire with a long jumper by Laurence and a buzzer-beating 3-pointer by Tycen Gray.

Those baskets were the beginning of an extended run for Farmington, which opened up a 23-11 lead just two minutes into the second quarter. 

Austin Lewis hit the front end on a pair of free throws at the 5:43 mark. That ended a near five-minute scoring drought for the Eagles. Hoffman hit a fallaway jumper from the elbow to give Sullivan their first points from the field since Adams’ 3. Later, Hoffman would swipe a pass and complete a fastbreak to help the Eagles climb within eight, 25-17. 

Austin Lewis buried a trey with 1:51 to go in the period, trimming the deficit to 29-22. Sancegraw floated a 3 in response and the Knights sailed into halftime with a 32-22 advantage.

Farmington would never again trail by fewer than eight. They ended the third quarter on an 8-0 run, which included a 3-pointer and fastbreak by Brant Gray, then yet another buzzer-beating 3 by Tycen Gray. Farmington took a commanding 54-35 lead. 

Sullivan outscored the Knights 17-16 in the final period.

Sullivan Independent News

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