Basketball: Farmington looking for scorers after Wilson departs

Posted: November 5, 2017 at 1 a.m.

FILE PHOTO Xavier Staten, left, is one of the players Farmington will look to for increased scoring following the graduation of Matt Wilson, who averaged 29 points per game last season. Staten averaged 7.9 for the Cardinals.
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FILE PHOTO Xavier Staten, left, is one of the players Farmington will look to for increased scoring following the graduation of Matt Wilson, who averaged 29 points per game last season. Staten averaged 7.9 for the Cardinals.

CLASS 6A/5A DISTRICT 1

FARMINGTON

6A/5A Boys High 5

Skylar Montez^Farmington^6-1^Sr.

Averaged 10 ppg last season for the Cardinals. Scored 24 at Siloam Springs.

Xavier Staten^Farmington^6-4^Sr.

Senior forward averaged 7.9 ppg last season.

Skyler Young^Harrison^6-6^Sr.

Averaged 10 ppg and 6 rebounds for a Harrison team that finished 24-6 last season.

Braden Johnson^Alma^6-4^Sr.

Standout football player who added 8 ppg for Airedales last season.

Trae Thomas^Clarksville^6-0^Jr.

Averaged 12 points per game as a sophomore for Clarksville.

There are always shoes to fill from one season to the next, and the two at Farmington are as big as Bozo the Clown's feet.

Matt Wilson is now at Delta State after he averaged 29 points per game and set the school record in scoring last season. He also established Farmington's single-game scoring record with 50 points in a win over Clarksville.

No one else averaged more than eight points a game for the Cardinals, who finished 20-8 overall and 9-3 in district play.

"Matt was so good with the ball in his hands we ran a lot of isolation plays for him," Farmington coach Beau Thompson said. "But we've always been more of a motion and an equal opportunity team, and I think our shots will be distributed more evenly this year."

Senior forwards Skylar Montez (10 points per game) and Xavier Staten (7.9 ppg) are expected to increase their scoring along with center Jacob Gray (2.3 ppg). Montez showed his scoring potential by scoring 24 points in a game at Siloam Springs.

"They weren't going to let Matt get the ball, and Skylar scored 24 in a close game we easily could have lost," Thompson said. "He's going to have to put the ball in the hole for us and he's going to have the handle the ball better.

"Xavier, he is is kind of a do-all player from the point-forward position. Last year, he kind of stayed in the background and that's not an option for him this year. We really have to have him step up and score for us."

Peyton Maxwell will start at guard this year after coming off the bench last season as a reserve.

"He's probably the key to our success because he's going to handle the ball most of the time," Thompson said. "It's going to be up to him to get the ball where it belongs."

Farmington will host the 5A-West Conference Tournament at Cardinal Arena Feb. 19-24.

HARRISON

Harrison is hoping to reload after losing six of its top seven players from last season, when the Goblins went 11-0 in district play and 24-6 overall. Harrison reached to quarterfinals of the Class 5A state tournament before being eliminated by Pulaski Mills.

"The guys we have to replace played on teams that were 44-14 the last two years," Harrison coach David Stahler said. "We're not going to be as quick this year, but we'll have more length."

The Goblins will rely on 6-foot-6 senior Skyler Young for scoring and rebounding along with 6-foot-3 junior Carson Journagan and 6-foot-6 senior Colton Youngblood. Ben Elliott will man the point guard position in the backcourt along with Gabe Huskey, a standout running back for the Goblins. Both are sophomores.

"Skyler, he's a late maturer, but he's improved offensively," Stahler said. "He's quick and aggressive. Colton needs to stay healthy after last year, when he missed games because of a twisted ankle, a concussion and the flu. It'll be a process this year with this team and, hopefully, we'll begin to jell by January."

ALMA

Teams facing Alma this season will have a hard time matching up with their size, where 6-foot-6 center Kade Wood, 6-foot-5 forward Christian Stahler and 6-foot-4 forward Brayden Johnson return.

"We've got the biggest team we've ever had here in terms of size," Alma coach Stan Flenor said. "We're very team-oriented and we're going to have to count on each other to keep getting better and better each week."

Garrison Jensen returns at guard for the Airedales, who finished 13-16 overall and 7-5 in district play last season.

CLARKSVILLE

Clarksville hopes to overcome the loss of Juan Hernandez, who averaged 21 points per game as a senior last season. But guards Trace Thomas and Bob Hurley could pick up the slack after each averaged more than 10 points per game as sophomores last season.

"Our lack of size could hurt us, but we've got some guards coming back with Trae and Bob Hurley," Clarksville coach Tony Davis said. "Our best teams here have been guard-oriented, and I think we'll be pretty good in the backcourt again this year."

Clarksville finished 13-16 overall last season, including 5-7 in conference play.

GREENWOOD

Greenwood is counting on the return of four starters to propel a turnaround from a 7-23 season a year ago.

"We should be quite a bit better," said Greenwood coach Greg Nichols, who begins his third year as the Bulldogs' coach. "Our kids are starting to understand better our system and what we want out of them."

Senior Jordan Shepard (16.0 ppg) is the leading returning scorer for the Bulldogs, who finished 4-9 in district play. He'll be joined in the backcourt by Peyton Holt (11.2 ppg) and Ronnie Stewart (8 ppg). Zane Harmon, a 6-foot-4 senior, returns to patrol the inside for Greenwood.

SILOAM SPRINGS

Siloam Springs' rebuilding process will likely continue after the Panthers won only seven games last season.

Guards Spencer Lashley and Murphy Perkins are the only returning starters.

"They're the only two with court-time experience, but I think we have some pieces where we can start to come together," Siloam Springs coach Tim Stewart said. "The kids are showing a lot energy in our practices."

Sports on 11/05/2017