Farmington, Brimfield boys battle back from injuries, sickness to win
By JEFF LAMPE
For The Weekly Post
The tragic death of area player Jacob Look overshadows what has already been a difficult week for players sidelined with flu and the aches and pains of bodies relearning the toils of a basketball season.
Some of those players, however, were able to return to play last week to help their teams.
The Farmers (5-1) got back to full strength in time to win at Monmouth-Roseville on Friday, 44-43.
The Farmers rallied from a 15-7 deficit after one quarter despite foul trouble and then held on down the stretch despite missing the front end of two one-and-one free throw opportunities.
Jeremy Schlueter made two good defensive plays in the final seconds to help seal the win, Coach Marty Lozier said.
“They were a good team with good guards and a 6-foot-7 kid who is good,” Lozier said.
Top scorers for Farmington were Logan Morse and Riley Embry with 14 points apiece.
One week ago, Farmington had played “exceptionally well” on the road in a 74-48 victory at Tremont.
The Farmers were to play Tuesday at home against Macomb, ranked No. 5 in Class 2A in the first AP poll.
The Farmers travel to face Abingdon-Avon on Friday.
Playing just one game last week due to cancellations by Abingdon-Avon and Stark County (COVID outbreak) was OK for Brimfield, which had several players battling nagging injuries and sickness.
Extra rest let the Indians get healed up in time for a 67-32 win at Annawan on Saturday. Brimfield led 31-18 at halftime and then blew the game open with a 27-11 run in the third quarter.
Max Walters led with 18 points and Thomas Harmon added 11. Levi Moon did not play due to sickness.
“Our pressure really got to them,” Coach Kevin Kreiter said. “We came out of the locker room and played well and had a really good third quarter.”
Delavan’s gritty pressure defense was more than Elmwood could handle Saturday in a 49-40 loss at home.
“They got a lot more uncontested looks than we did,” Coach Josh Fugitt said. “It’s hard to win when you shoot the majority of your shots as contested jump shots.”
Delavan was ahead 38-30 by halftime and then held on for the win by hitting 8 of 10 free throws in the final quarter.
Andrew Marincic had 23 points to lead Elmwood and got 9 of his points on free throws. But post players Victor Lenzi and Brayden Lehman combined for seven points and Lenzi got just three field goal attempts, Fugitt said.
“We have to be a combination of more patient on offense and to learn to execute better under pressure,” Fugitt said. “I think that will come with time.”
Back on Nov. 30, Elmwood routed West Prairie, 64-50, as Marincic scored 28 points and had four treys.
“We got out in transition and Andrew got some clean looks and he played well there,” Fugitt said.
Elmwood also held West Prairie to one point in the third quarter during a 20-1 run that reversed a 36-32 halftime deficit.
“We finally looked like we understood the intensity we needed to get better on defense,” Fugitt said.
Lehman had 13 points for the Trojans and Layne Durst added 11.
Elmwood is home vs. Knoxville on Wednesday and then travels to play at Princeville on Saturday.
The Cougars (3-4) dropped a pair last week but the losses felt very different.
In a home loss to Delavan on Nov. 30, R-W had a strong second half and was within five points at one point, before losing, 64-57.
“We played pretty well in the second half,” Coach Bob Anderson said.
Part of that was thanks to Lewis Sams, who had 12 of his 14 points in the final two quarters. Graham Wight led R-W with 18 and Dylan Tucker tallied 10.
Things were not so close against Peoria Christian, ranked No. 4 in Class 1A. R-W was down 13 at half and by 18 heading into the fourth.
“They got away from us. Christian is pretty good and they’ve got a 6-8 kid [Wes Hunt] who can play, so that makes things pretty tough,” Anderson said. “The big kid is smooth and can shoot it inside or out.”
Hunt will attend Indiana NAIA school Taylor University next year to play basketball and baseball.
R-W’s game at Brimfield on Tuesday was cancelled. The Cougars play Friday at Mercer County, which recently lost 85-51 to Port Byron Riverdale (6-0).
While the Princes are back in practice, the season opener was delayed until Friday at Illini Bluffs. A game scheduled against Lowpoint-Washburn was pushed back to Dec. 14 since L-W is under quarantine.
Princeville has its home opener on Saturday against Elmwood.