FARMINGTON — Having lost to the De Soto Dragons only five days earlier in the championship game of the Central Christmas Tournament, the Farmington Knights found the Dragons just as formidable in 2012 as a barrage of three pointers by the Dragons kept them in the lead in the late-going for an 82-70 win.
After gaining a 9-8 lead in the first quarter, the Dragons never trailed again, despite several runs by the Knights including two ties in the game. Each time the Knights drew close, the Dragons would push back out to a 7-10 point lead.
The last surge came in the fourth quarter, but three-point shots by Sean Solomon kept the Knights from taking over even though it was their own floor. Sanders made good on three three-pointers in the fourth quarter to go along with her previous two. Sanders finished the game with 21 points for De Soto.
De Soto (12-0) utilized their height advantage in the early going as 6’9” Jake Patzner and 6’10” Colin Ferguson combined for 16 points in the first quarter with six points coming on putbacks.
Farmington (5-5) rallied in the second quarter starting with an opening three-pointer by Monis Zereik. Patzner and Ferguson both took a seat with foul trouble, but Farmington still struggled to work the ball inside against De Soto’s zone defense.
An offensive rebound by Roper Garrett was kicked out to a waiting Evan Dunivan, who drilled a three to pull the Knights to within two, 32-30, with two minutes left in the second quarter.
The Knights would draw even closer. Unable to corral De Soto’s high scorer, Jared White, the Knights were able to tie the game, 39-39, going into the locker room on a three by Connor Davault from the right corner. White finished the game with 27 points for De Soto, and Davault had 19 for Farmington.
The Dragons jumped back into the lead to start the third quarter on three-pointers by Fred Drummond and Sean Solomon, but the Knights would not fold as they went on a 9-2 run to tie the game at 51 after forcing several turnovers by the Dragons, including an offensive foul by Ferguson.
Doug Warren bolstered his team-high 24 points with 11 in the third quarter.
De Soto pulled away for good in the final minutes of the third. Solomon scored three three-pointers in the early going of the fourth quarter and Kevin Sanders came of the bench for his lone three-pointer, and the game’s outcome was never in contention.
Farmington will travel to Wentzville to play Timberland on Thursday.
De Soto 22 17 21 22 – 82
Farmington 11 18 21 16 – 70
D- Jared White 27, Sean Solomon 21, Jake Patzner 14, Colin Ferguson, Fred Drummond 3, Kevin Sanders 3. 3-pt FG – Solomon 4, Drummond, Sanders.
F – Doug Warren 24, Connor Davault 19, Roper Garrett 10, Monis Zereik 9, Logan England 4, Evan Dunivan 3, Alec Sebastian 1. 3-pt FG – Davault 4, Warren 2, Dunivan, Zereik