FARMINGTON -- Brad Johnson had seen enough in the first quarter to know he needed to change his team's defensive strategy.
A small lead evaporated quickly as Harrison ran off 10 straight points against Farmington's man-to-man defense. Johnson called a timeout with a little over two minutes left in the quarter and went to a zone.
The move worked as the Lady Cardinals went on a 19-1 run that turned a 15-9 deficit into a 28-16 lead. Farmington was never threatened the rest of the way in a 56-35 win on Senior Night Thursday in Cardinal Arena in the regular season finale for both teams.
"They did a good job in the first half of being prepared for our man (defense)," Johnson said. "They hung us on some screens, so in the second quarter we switched to zone and tried to get out and challenge reverses a little bit and never let their shooters get into a rhythm."
Alexis Roach helped fuel the run, scoring Farmington's first eight points of the second quarter. Roach scored six of her 14 points in the opening 2 minutes, 16 seconds, the last giving the Lady Cardinals back the lead at 17-15. Then Farmington dropped the hammer with three straight 3-pointers as Eliza Ball, Makenna Vanzant, and Madisyn Pense all connected from distance for a 28-18 lead.
"I thought we rebounded well in the second quarter, too," Johnson said. "When we're doing that, we're able to get out in transition and get some easy buckets that way, and then we got our shooters rolling. When we can play that way, we're not bad."
Harrison (9-17, 4-8) could not recover from the second-quarter barrage and never got back within single digits as Farmington's press dominated in the second half. Roach scored inside and Vanzant got a steal and quick layup for a 34-20 lead and the Lady Cardinals kicked it up a notch, building a 20-point cushion at 45-25 to end the third quarter.
Johnson said this year's team has more depth than any team he's had at Farmington, and that was evident Thursday night as nine players scored.
Vanzant led Farmington (22-5, 9-3) with 15 points. Caroline Cecil was Harrison's only double-figure scorer with 14.
"We've added some good depth with some ninth-grade kids, and as we have a few more days to practice, I think our depth only grows," Johnson said. "It's going to help. Obviously, everything from here on out is a quick turnaround. So we've got to monitor minutes on legs and things like that and these kids can do it."
Post-season play starts for Farmington on Monday as it hosts the 5A-West Conference tournament. The bracket will be finalized after today's games. The tournament will be all eight teams from the West as they play for berths in the upcoming Class 5A state tournament.
The Lady Cardinals will take on Greenbrier in the opening round.
Harrison 15 3 7 10 -- 35
Farmington 11 19 15 11 -- 56
Harrison (9-17, 4-8): Doshier 14, B. Parker 7, Knight 6, Horn 3, K. Parker 3, Groberg 2.
Farmington (22-5, 9-3): Vanzant 15, Roach 14, Journagan 8, Pense 7, Culpepper 4, Ball 3, Parsley 2, Tidwell 2, Jones 1.
Harrison 63, Farmington 41
The Goblins completed a perfect run through the 5A-West Conference with a huge second-quarter scoring surge.
Harrison (22-4, 12-0 5A-West) broke away from the host Cardinals and led 39-23 at halftime.
Ben Elliott led a balanced Harrison scoring attack with 16 points. Skyler Young added 12 and Colton Youngblood had 10.
Xavier Staten scored a game-high 19 points for the Cardinals (7-20, 1-11).
Harrison 17 22 13 11 -- 63
Farmington 11 12 9 9 -- 41
Harrison (22-4, 12-0): Elliott 16, Young 12, Youngblood 10, Ditmanson 8, Journagan 7, Shrum 6, Huskey 2, Martin 2.
Farmington (7-20, 1-11): Staten 19, S. Montez 5, J. Montez 3, Parrish 3, Whitmore 3, Gray 2, Shelley 2, Waggle 2, Volmer 2.Preps Basketball on 02/16/2018
Print Headline: Basketball: Switch pays off for Farmington