It was a tale of two halves Saturday afternoon at Bayfield High School as the Farmington High School boys’ basketball team outscored Bayfield 49-31 in the second half and defeated the Wolverines 77-66.
The Wolverines (3-4) got off to a fast start behind senior guard Turner Kennedy, who scored 15 of his team-high 26 points in the first half. Meanwhile, Hayden Farmer chipped in nine first-half points to help his side get out to a 23-17 lead at the end of the first quarter and a 35-28 lead at halftime.
However, Bayfield head coach Klint Chandler said his team did not play the same team basketball as they did in the first half.
“We don’t make adjustments like we should,” Chandler said. “We’re young and we let them back in the game, both offensively and defensively. I really thought we played selfish that second half instead of as a team like we did in the first two quarters.”
Both teams came off of tough losses as Farmington lost in triple overtime on Thursday to Bloomfield, while Bayfield was dropped in Utah against San Juan on Friday night. However, when it mattered most, the Scorpions came out with more energy and controlled both the glass and post.
Farmington’s freight train post presence wrecked all kinds of havoc in the second half, particularly in the third quarter. The Scorpions (5-2) were led down low by senior forward Kobe Shorty, who finished with 28 points, and had nine baskets in the game including six in the second half, all of which came in the post. 21 of Shorty’s 28 points came in the second half. Head coach Jay Collins thought his center’s contribution was the difference.
“At halftime, we didn’t change much, I just really stressed to them, ‘hey, just get the big fella the ball,’” Collins said. “They had a hard time stopping him, and we didn’t do a great job of getting him the ball in that first half, so basically, at halftime, I told them that Kobe was wide open, just make the extra pass. (Kobe) did a good job of finding shooters, if and when he got double-teamed, and he was a tough guy to guard and had a good night.”
While Shorty’s post play was tough for Bayfield to defend, he wasn’t the only one who torched the Wolverines, as senior guard Josh Goats went off for 31 points.
“On defense, we really emphasized our full-court press and we were able to cause a lot of turnovers in the third quarter,” Goats said. “Offensively, we did a great job of going down low and kicking it back out to our 3-point shooters. Kobe was really spectacular to watch, and he kept going in the paint and dished out a lot of key passes and helped us get the win.”
The key turning point came near the end of the third quarter, as Farmington finally took the lead on a Shorty 3-pointer in the closing seconds. It was the first lead that the Scorpions had since the game’s opening bucket.
Farmington would not relinquish the lead despite an eight-point quarter from Kennedy. Bayfield brought it within six points in the final two minutes of the game, but the Scorpions were 7-of-11 from the charity stripe and helped seal the deal.
“(Farmington) didn’t change much of anything in that second half from a defensive standpoint,” Chandler said. “We come down, took tough shots instead of going back to what we’ve done in the first half to get us out to a seven-point lead. I don’t know; we’ve got to get this team figured out on offense and go from there.”
Farmer finished the afternoon with 11 points while James Mottin had 12.
The Wolverines will look to snap a three-game losing streak after Christmas break, when they will play Durango in the opening round of the Southwest Classic, Jan. 4 with the time to be announced.