By Dave Wagner
FARWELL — Farwell’s outside game was missing in action Friday night. Good thing the Steers didn’t need it.
Farwell got solid inside play from Tyler Myers, Grant Gregory and reserve Jose Cabello and overcame a slow start to blow out Springlake-Earth 71-32 in a District 3-1A boys matchup.
The win sets up the Steers (16-5, 3-0 district) for Tuesday’s first-place showdown at Sudan (17-4, 3-0).
Springlake-Earth (2-16, 1-2) came out hot early, hitting three of its first four 3-pointers to build an 11-6 lead. But the Wolverines managed only 2-of-19 from long range the rest of the way.
“I don’t think we were ready to play tonight,” Farwell coach Kirk Saul said. “The first half kind of woke us up a little bit.”
Actually, Gregory said, Saul woke them up at halftime with the Steers leading just 25-20.
“We were kind of looking ahead to Sudan,” said Gregory, who scored 14 points on 6-of-10 shooting and grabbed eight rebounds. “Once coach roiled us up at halftime, we came out and knew we had to put it away.”
Farwell extended its defense for much of the second half, holding the Wolverines to just 3-of-18 shooting in that time and outscoring them 46-12. Springlake-Earth finished the game with 34 turnovers.
Myers and Cabello each finished with 15 points. The 6-foot-3 Myers shot 6-of-10 from the field and grabbed a team-high 11 rebounds, while Cabello was 6-of-7 from the floor.
Most of their points came from around the basket.
“We like giving Tyler the ball inside,” Gregory said. “When he posts up, it’s pretty much an automatic two points.”
The rest of the Steers combined for 9-of-39 field goal shooting, with the team going just 1-of-17 from 3-point range.
“We just kind of went through the motions (early),” Saul said. “The second half we picked up the defensive intensity.
“Tyler played well inside, and Grant took the ball to the basket well. I think they were so worried about Tyler that once (Grant) got by the first guy, there was nobody there (to pick him up).”
Guards Chad DeGrate and Curt Bills scored 11 points each for the Wolverines, but almost all their damage came early and Springlake-Earth had no answers for Farwell’s inside game.
“We knew they were pretty good shooters, but we put more pressure on them in the second half,” said Gregory, coming off an ankle injury which forced him to miss Tuesday’s win at Bovina. “Whenever we (play good defense), it really seems to help our offense.”
Farwell posted a 41-31 edge on the boards and committed 11 turnovers — including only two in the second half.