FARMINGTON — A pair of timely 3-pointers from junior guard Tayhlor Milfeld helped the Farmington girls basketball team settle down following a chaotic and somewhat frustrating first quarter on Monday night.
Pressure defense from Jackson forced a sequence of 10 early turnovers, but the Knightettes rallied with a strong rebounding effort after halftime to earn a 49-44 triumph in the opening round of the Farmington Invitational.
Milfeld added another triple to finish with 14 points off the bench, and post player Morgan Ankrom compiled a double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds for the Knightettes (1-0).
Aggressive play from both teams resulted in several jump balls and frenetic scrambles. Jackson (0-1) committed 15 team fouls during the first half, which enabled Farmington to convert 18-of-29 free throws overall.
Dru Haertling posted 14 points with four steals, and Brooke Sanders tossed in 10 points to pace the Lady Indians (0-1). A second-quarter jumper by Sanders gave Jackson its largest lead of 19-13.
But Milfeld provided the needed answer from the perimeter, and Allie Trask buried a couple of leaning mid-range shots during a scoring spurt that pulled Farmington even by halftime at 28-28.
The momentum continued into the third quarter, as Jackson missed five straight shots from the field. Erin Littrell capped a modest 6-0 run by the Knightettes with a strong putback.
Milfeld extended the lead to 39-32 with another three from the right wing, then made an easy layup on a blind entry pass from Brittany Gladbach, who tallied four assists on the night.
Haertling countered with a deep 3-pointer in the fourth quarter as Jackson also restored its defensive intensity. Sanders scored on a steal and outlet from Kaylen Knepp with 1:52 remaining to make it 45-44.
The Lady Indians had two separate chances to regain the lead moments later, but Farmington freshman Rachel Williams blocked an initial jump shot, and Littrell gathered a bobbled pass near the sideline.
Two free throws each from Gladbach and Milfeld sealed the outcome. The Knightettes forced 20 turnovers on defense, and six points from Williams bolstered a 25-10 differential in bench scoring.
Farmington faces a difficult semifinal challenge on Friday against top-seeded Class 5 power Incarnate Word, which rolled past Dexter 80-22 on Monday.
Jackson 11 17 6 10 – 44
Farmington 11 17 13 8 – 49
Jackson – Haertling 14, Sanders 10, Seyer 6, Clippard 4, Bollinger 3, Quade 3, McNeely 2, Knepp 2. 3-point FG – Haertling.
Farmington – Milfeld 14, Ankrom 14, Williams 6, Trask 5, Heuring 4, Littrell 4, Gladbach 2. 3-point FG – Milfeld 3.