The fourth seeded Farmington Farmers sailed past the Illini West Chargers 57-28 Thursday afternoon in the Macomb-Western Holiday Tournament. It is the fourth consecutive first round victory for the Farmers, who sent the Chargers to their third consecutive first round loss.
Farmington (9-2) smothered Illini West (1-10) defensively, forcing 23 turnovers, and converting them into 26 points. Meanwhile, the Farmers had just four turnovers themselves. Toss in a 35-24 advantage on the boards and the Farmers couldn’t help but flourish with all the extra possessions.
Illini West began strong, taking a 7-5 edge, but Farmington responded with a 18-2 flurry to end the first quarter ahead 23-9. Farmington led by as many as 19 in the second frame before settling for a 34-18 lead at intermission.
The Chargers battled to within 13 on two occasions in the third quarter, the last coming after a Lincoln Gooding lay up with 5:36 remaining. The Farmers then hit them with the next nine points and never looked back.
Jaden Rutledge led a balanced Farmington attack, scoring 15 points with eight rebounds. Ben Martin also reached double figures with 12 points off the bench. Four Farmers collected multiple steals, led by Sam Fletcher’s four.
Gooding led Illini West with 15 points and five boards. Cole Jackson chipped in five points and five rebounds.
Illini West will be on the court again Friday at 1:00 pm versus the losing team between Macomb and Lewistown. Farmington will take on the winner at 6:30 pm that night.
December 26, 2019