FARMINGTON – The Farmington girls basketball team thrived on offensive rebounds that created second-chance shots during its home opener against Arcadia Valley on Monday.

Senior forward Claire Busse recorded a team-high nine rebounds plus 10 points for the Knights, and Zoe Johns added nine points with seven rebounds in the 65-45 victory.

Kaylee Wooldridge finished with seven rebounds, while Alyson Tucker and Macey Pauls each notched six. Tucker paced all players with 18 points, and Pauls contributed 10 for Farmington (2-3).

The Knights pulled away during the second quarter through tenacious work on the boards. Although their first five shots of the period missed, Busse collected a rebound and passed to Pauls for a 20-11 lead with 6:31 left.

Johns recorded seven points and five rebounds during the last three minutes of the second, and Pauls banked in a putback floater for a 38-22 edge just before the halftime buzzer sounded.

Makayla Moise battled hard to corral 13 rebounds and score nine points for Arcadia Valley (2-2), but struggled to convert down low against the taller Farmington post players. She sank her lone 3-pointer on an inbounds play with 0.9 seconds remaining in the third quarter.

Jaesa Brockes posted seven of her team-high 13 points from the free-throw line, and added six rebounds for the Lady Tigers.

Arcadia Valley frequently reached the stripe and hustled for loose balls during the second half. Katie Whited displayed a tremendous effort in the full-court pressure, and dived out of bounds to keep several balls in play.

However, the Lady Tigers had trouble preventing the efficient Farmington offense after the break. The Knights gained a 48-26 advantage after Pauls nailed a corner 3-point shot with 2:32 remaining in the third quarter.

Farmington committed turnovers more frequently in the fourth period, but maintained a sizable lead by feeding the ball inside. The Knights kept the ball moving, and had nine players score in the win.

Emily Greif and Tucker each sank a pair of free throws for Farmington during a 6-0 start in the opening minute before Josie Landrum answered for AV with her first of two 3-pointers.

The Lady Tigers began setting screens to pop Landrum open, and she earned three free throws on a foul from behind the arc to shrink the deficit to 17-11 at the end of the first quarter.

Freshman Gracee Smith recorded eight points, and Landrum finished with seven for Arcadia Valley.

The matchup pitted the reigning regular-season champions of their respective MAAA divisions.

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Sports Reporter

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