FARMINGTON – The Farmington boys basketball team enforced tight defensive pressure early to generate Fox turnovers, and capitalized on the resulting transition opportunities to build a lead on Wednesday.
Bryce Sancegraw recorded three of the Knights’ seven first-half steals, and would often dish the ball ahead to Brendon Hardy or Tycen Gray on the fast break.
Hardy notched a game-high 21 points with four shots from the perimeter, and Gray added 18 points plus 10 rebounds in a 63-48 victory.
Sancegraw poked the ball away from Damarion Jones for his third steal, and connected with Hardy in stride for a layup as the Farmington lead widened to 28-19 going into halftime of their home opener.
Cody Wright intercepted the inbounds pass by Fox to begin the third quarter, and immediately found Hardy in the corner for his second 3-pointer of the game.
Cameron Friend and Hardy drained back to back long-range shots midway through the period to give the Knights a 40-22 advantage.
The Warriors applied full-court pressure in the third quarter, but Farmington (2-3) often got behind the defense to create easy chances near the basket.
Dalton Evans frequently cut hard to the rim in attempt to chip away at the deficit for Fox (1-5), but the Knights answered with high-percentage shots to maintain their edge.
Evans finished with a team-high 18 points and six rebounds in a losing effort.
The Warriors reduced their turnover rate in the second half, but trailed 48-35 going into the fourth quarter after Wright sank a pair of free throws with four seconds on the clock.
Jones drew the seventh foul on Farmington during the opening possession of the fourth quarter, and Fox continued to earn free throws down the stretch. However, the Warriors went just 7-of-13 from the line in the final period.
Farmington attacked quickly in the early minutes of the fourth to help stay ahead, then began to lengthen possessions with about three minutes to play.
The Knights looked to drain time away by making careful passes around the perimeter with 1:31 remaining. Tyler Herzog capped the scoring with a wide-open layup from beneath the rim with 20 seconds left.
The Knights forced five turnovers during the first quarter, and held an 11-7 lead after Julian Flanigan dropped in a layup off a steal as time expired.
Gray blocked the first shot attempt by the Warriors in the second period, then proceeded to strip the ball away from Evans to spark a fast-break attack.
Hardy and Sancegraw each finished at the rim on two consecutive transition chances to establish a 17-10 lead with 5:32 remaining in the second quarter.
Cole Laurence denied back to back layup attempts by Fox less than a minute later, and recorded seven points with eight rebounds for the Knights.