Siloam Springs made the plays it needed to make down the stretch in its 5A/6A District 1 opener against Farmington.
The Panthers hit 4 of 6 free throws and forced a huge jump ball with a slim lead and finished off a 64-59 victory over the Cardinals in Panther Activity Center on Wednesday.
"The kids executed offensively, maybe the best we have all year in spurts and it enabled us to keep the lead," said Siloam Springs coach Tim Stewart. "It was one of those games where our kids have been close and the effort's been there. We just haven't quite had the payoff. Tonight we take a charge, we hit a free throw there and did enough to get the payoff."
After a sluggish start to begin the game, falling behind 12-4 early, the Panthers rallied to take the lead in the second quarter and they never gave it up the rest of the way.
"We missed eight or nine free throws there in the first half," said Farmington coach Beau Thompson. "We had a chance to extended the lead, but we let a team stay close on their home floor. For us, we're really offensively challenged, so our margin for error is not real high."
Siloam Springs led by as many as six points in the second half, but the Panthers never could pull away from Farmington, who stayed in it thanks to a game-high 22 points from Skyler Montez.
"After the start of the game, we were kind of out of sorts in that first quarter," Stewart said. "I thought our kids showed a lot of toughness to keep it close enough to be in reach. We're up one going into halftime, where we were able to turn it around."
Leading 60-59 with 10.1 seconds left, Thad Wright banked in a free throw for Siloam Springs but missed the second shot, however Marquan Sorrells got his hands on the rebound along with a Farmington player to force a jump ball and the possession arrow going to the Panthers.
Spencer Lashley got the inbound and was fouled with 5.6 left, and he made both free throws for a 63-59 lead. The Cardinals (7-8, 0-1) turned the ball over without any time running off and Sorrells split another pair of free throws to set the final score.
Lashley and Jacob Wakefield each scored 14 points to lead the Panthers (3-12, 1-0), who won their second straight game. Sorrells added 10 points.
Lashley, a senior, did most of his scoring in the fourth quarter, coming up with some key baskets down the stretch for Siloam Springs. Wakefield, meanwhile, had a season-high in points for the Panthers.
Not known as a shooter as much as he is a great athlete, Wakefield hit two 3-pointers in the first half and scored eight of his points. He added a bucket in the third quarter and scored four more points in the fourth quarter.
"If we can just get him to downshift his gears just enough to keep up with his athleticism, he can do some things offensively," Stewart said of Wakefield.
Siloam Springs 64, Farmington 59
Farmington: S. Montez 22, J. Montez 12, Staten 11, Maxwell 5, Killian 3, Shelly 3, Gray 2, Valenzuala 1.
Siloam Springs: Lashley 14, Wakefield 14, Sorrells 10, Perkins 7, Stewart 6, Pettit 4, Flores 4, Wright 3, Clement 2.Sports on 01/07/2018
Print Headline: Panthers clip Cardinals