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story.lead_photo.caption NWA Democrat-Gazette/ANDY SHUPE Farmington's Audrey Culpepper (left) makes a move around Alma's Loryn Kelley Tuesday, Dec. 4, 2018, during the second half of play at Farmington High School in Farmington. Visit nwadg.com/photos to see more photographs from the game.

FARMINGTON -- On a night when Makenna Vanzant was honored for reaching 1,000 career points, the Farmington junior's offense wasn't needed as much.

The Lady Cardinals (6-0) pulled away from a young but feisty Alma squad late for a 60-44 victory at Cardinals Arena on Tuesday. Vanzant, who averages 16 points a game, finished with a season-low five points while being closely guarded by Alma senior Cassidy Cooper.

It helped to have several other scorers on the team such as Madisyn Pense, who led the way with 14 points.

"We do have multiple weapons," said Farmington coach Brad Johnson. "There's going to be nights where Makenna and Madisyn is the focus of an opponent's defense, and they've earned that kind of attention. And Makenna, even though she didn't score as much, did a great job of running our offense and getting the ball into the hot hands.

"We need nights like this to happen to make us better and get us to where we want to go."

Alma (1-2) led 11-10 at the end of the first behind a pair of deep 3-pointers by Cooper. Farmington put together an 8-0 run thanks to a 3-pointer by Vanzant and a traditional three-point play by Alexis Roach to take an 18-13 lead. It was triggered by Vanzant taking a charge on sophomore Ariel Towns-Robinson's drive.

But the Lady Airedales would rally to tie it at 23-23 by halftime with 3-pointers by Cooper and sophomore Loryn Kelly.

"They push it so fast in transition, and we were able to get back to slow them down," said Alma coach Cody Mann. "Then there late in the game, and especially in the fourth quarter, it started wearing us down, and they were able to get some easy buckets.

"We improved a whole lot today. We competed on their home court and gave ourselves a chance."

Three straight Alma turnovers, including Trinity Johnson drawing a charge and Vanzant swiping a steal, resulted in the Lady Cards scoring the first seven points of the third quarter. Following buckets by Towns-Robinson and Kelly, Trinity Johnson hit back-to-back 3-pointers to push Farmington's lead to 36-27.

A 3-pointer by Pense made it 42-29, but Alma finished off the quarter on a 7-2 run to close the margin to 44-36 heading into the fourth. Another charge drawn by Johnson and a sharp pass from Pense to Roach for a bucket highlighted a 7-0 run to begin the fourth quarter. Then, just as Alma appeared to be making a run, another 3-pointer by Trinity Johnson made it 56-40 with 2:50 remaining in regulation.

"Taking charges like that are emotional plays that really get a team going," Brad Johnson said. "Coach Mann is one of the best in the business at understanding how to attack people, and they were able to slow us down and control tempo.

"I challenged our team at halftime because good teams have to be able to come out and play well in the second half, and those kids responded really, really well."

Alma 11 12 13 8 -- 44

Farmington 10 13 21 16 -- 60

Alma (1-2): Cooper 14, Dowdy 9, Towns-Robinson 8, Kelly 6, Holmes 3, Higgins 2, Hensen 1.

Farmington (6-0): Pense 14, Tidwell 11, Johnson 9, Roach 9, Kersey 8, Culpepper 4.

Boys

Farmington 75, Alma 74, (2OT)

Tyler Vollmer's defensive rebound led to a pair of free throws by Jayden Whitmore that proved to be the game-winning points with 17 seconds remaining in the second overtime.

Farmington (3-3) received a game-high 38 points by Will Pridmore while Alma (2-2) was paced by Cejay Mann, who hit eight 3-pointers on his way to a 28-point performance.

Alma 11 12 17 18 10 6 -- 74

Famington 13 4 23 18 10 7 -- 75

Alma (2-2): Mann 29, Shelton 18, Peter 12, George 9, Cluck 2, White 2.

Farmington (3-3): Pridmore 38, Whitmore 10, Mayo 9, Montez 7, Vollmer 5, Valenzuela 4, Shelly 2.

NWA Democrat-Gazette/ANDY SHUPE Farmington's Tori Kersey (right) takes a shot over Alma's Hillarie Mata Tuesday, Dec. 4, 2018, during the second half of play at Farmington High School in Farmington. Visit nwadg.com/photos to see more photographs from the game.

Sports on 12/05/2018

Print Headline: PREP BASKETBALL Farmington rolls past Alma

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