Lady Scorps trying to limit first-half foul troubles

Matt Hollinshead,
Farmington's Celeste Coolidge (2) and Kiiyani Anitielu (23) try to dislodge the ball from La Cueva's Kaya Ingram during Tuesday's District 2-5A tournament quarterfinals game at Scorpion Arena.

FARMINGTON — The Farmington Lady Scorpions are trying to significantly limit first-half foul troubles, fully aware it could doom them in the 5A state playoffs.

During much of this final stretch, FHS (21-7) accumulated fouls early because of preventable things.

Reaching in on double-team traps, as opposed to keeping hands up. The quick bump in the middle lanes. Making last-second contact after being late trying to zero in on shooters.

“They play not as aggressive when they are in foul trouble,” forward Chloe Finch said.

Those things have also irritated coach Larenson Henderson as the playoffs near.

“It has (hurt us) in our past few games,” Henderson said. “We have to be able to discipline ourselves not to make those kind of errors in the first half.”

And as those things added up, Farmington would spend extra time worrying about picking up extra fouls and play more passively, particularly on defense.

“It was pretty frustrating. I’m glad that we’re working on it and not doing it anymore,” Finch said. “In the end, those fouls matter.”

Farmington often found itself in the bonus, if not the double-bonus, before halftime. But in its 62-58 District 2-5A quarterfinals win over La Cueva on Tuesday, FHS committed just five team fouls in the first half. 

“It was great. I loved it. (We were) just staying down more on defense and not reaching as much,” Finch said. “I think if we don’t get fouls in the first half, we can play more aggressive during the end.”

Farmington had quicker spacing defensively and didn’t find itself trying to simply play catch-up on the floor.

“We covered a lot of the 3-point shooters, and (La Cueva) got a couple of travels when they were making attempts to drive, because we were there,” Henderson said.

Henderson said when FHS doesn’t get in foul trouble early, his team can be more active grabbing rebounds and going on the attack.

Matt Hollinshead covers sports for the Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4577.