Locked in a tie game against Durango, Colo., with just four-tenths of a second left, Brad Betz calmly stepped to the free-throw line and delivered two game winning shots for the Farmington Scorpions.
Farmington led by three points but, with 1.4 seconds left in the game, Durango’s Ty Elliot hit a tying 3-point basket. Durango got the ball back with 0.4 seconds to play, but a foul was called as the Demons tried to inbound the ball as a player pushed off of Farmington’s Betz in effort to break free. Betz hit both free-throw shots to give FHS a 56-54 win.
“He stepped up and sunk both shots to give us the win,” said Farmington head coach Paul Corley. “It was an up-and-down game in which we played great at times and sloppy at others. I am proud of the guys. A win is a win, regardless of whether it is ugly or pretty. We can build on the three wins we have now this year.”
Farmington (3-5) shot just 26-for-43 at the free-throw line, a stat Corley expects to see improve.
“We have to be better there. We attacked the basket and got to the line, but we were terrible once we got there. It wouldn’t have even been a close game if we are better from the line tonight,” he said.
The Scorpions led by one point at halftime before extending the lead to 36-25 at the end of the third quarter.
“We played panicky in the fourth quarter after controlling the whole game,” Corley said. “We fell apart and played sloppy.”
Matt Huffhines led the Scorps with 17 points while Ethan Graf and Kyle Reynolds each scored nine. Josh Miller-Castillo scored another eight.
The Scorpions are off until Dec. 27 when they begin play in the Roswell tournament.
Kirtland Central 61, Miyamura 46
The Broncos finally had a solid night offensively, resulting in a big win against Miyamura.
Kirtland Central (5-6) defeated the Patriots (4-3) 61-46 behind Christian Mackey’s 20 points.
Broncos head coach John Zecca let his star center play outside the paint Tuesday as the Patriots sat in a zone defense, and the big man hit three shots from behind the 3-point line.
“We were solid with the ball. Miyamura played a lot of zone, but we made adjustments and pulled Mackey out and let him shoot it a bit, which he can do,” Zecca said. “We are able to get more defensive stops and good rebounding in the second half to build a comfortable lead in the end.”
Seldon Watson scored 12 points off the bench for Kirtland Central while Joseph Willie had 10 rebounds.
Miyamura built a good lead in the first quarter, but the Broncos closed the half with a small lead.
Kirtland Central has a big week ahead before a long layoff with a home game Thursday against Gallup and a road contest Saturday in Bernalillo.
Piedra Vista 40, Bloomfield 39
Despite missing 10 free-throw shots in a row at one point in the second half, Piedra Vista hit the only two that mattered at the end of the game to secure a one-point win.
Leading by two points with three seconds to play in the fourth quarter, PV’s Coah Charley hit two shots from the charity stripe to give PV a four-point lead it would need as Bloomfield hit a 3-point shot at the buzzer. It wasn’t enough for the Lady Bobcats, as PV held onto a 40-39 win.
“Bloomfield started strong, and we kept it close throughout. We had a one-point lead at half and established an eight-point lead before missing 10-straight free throws and a bunch of easy baskets,” said PV head coach Mike Christie. “Luckily, we hit those two free throws at the end to lock it up.”
Kaleigh Graham led PV with 21 points and Claudia Charles had another seven in the win.
Jeanie Montes scored 15 points to lead Bloomfield.
“We played well for three and a half quarters. We just had a lull at the start of the fourth quarter and that was the difference,” said Bloomfield head coach Dan Larabee. “After PV’s 8-0 run, we got it back to within two, but they hit those free throws and won it.”
It was a strong showing for the Lady Bobcats, but Larabee said there are no moral wins in the loss.
“It still goes in the loss column,” he said.
Larabee was happy with Jasmine Sappington’s defense in the paint against Graham, thought the PV center went for 21 points.
“Graham is a tough girl. She scored her points, but Sappington did a nice job on her,” Larabee said.
The Lady Panthers haven’t been able to find a groove so far this year, and Christie said the team needs to turn it up before facing Los Alamos on Friday.
“We got a win, but we aren’t happy with ourselves. We have to start scraping together wins, and we got one tonight, but we have to play a lot better,” Christie said. “We are going through one of those things right now. We have lost some confidence, and we need to get a chip back on our shoulder. The girls need to get hungry. They are standing around and waiting for somebody to take over. We need to find some confidence.”
Miyamura 58, Aztec 34
Free-throw shooting cost Aztec on the road Tuesday.
The Lady Tigers (4-7) shot just seven free throws while Miyamura shot 25 en rout to beating Aztec 58-34.
Mikayla Paxton led Aztec with 12 points.
“We played well, but the foul count was against us. We got beat on the foul line,” said Aztec head coach Ben Tensay.
Aztec is off until Jan. 4 when the Lady Tigers open play in their own “Rumble in the Jungle” tournament.