Trailing by one point with under four seconds to play, Jake Armijo stepped to the free-throw line and sank three shots to send Piedra Vista to the Poe Corn Tournament championship game.
The Panthers (6-7) led Goddard (6-5) by 10 points going into the fourth quarter, but the Rockets stormed back to take a six point lead late in the game.
But a costly foul sent Armijo to the charity stripe with just 3.1 seconds to play, and the senior converted to give PV a 66-64 win.
“We have lost so many nail biters, and this one looked like it was heading that way after we went down in the fourth,” said PV head coach Adam Huff. “Coming back and winning this one gives us a lot of confidence.”
Ty Jaquez led the Panthers with 23 points while Armijo finished with 20.
“They didn’t do it until the second half, either. Jaquez took over the third quarter with four 3-pointers,” Huff said. “It was the first time this year both of those guys have taken over a game. It was great to see.”
After starting the season slow, the players were energized about Friday night’s win against another talented 4A team.
“Turning this season around baby,” Armijo wrote on his Twitter page after the game.
Piedra Vista faces a stiff challenge in the Poe Corn Tournament championship game today. The Panthers tip-off at 2 p.m. against No. 1 Roswell.
“We are happy to be in the championship game. We are playing the No. 1 team in the state and, if we win this one, we can worry about March later and we can just focus on district because we will have the resume for state.”
Roswell (9-0) advanced to the title game with an 86-52 win against Artesia Friday night.
PV and Roswell have had a bit of a rivalry in recent years.
The Panthers knocked the Coyotes out of the state tournament in the quarterfinals with a 63-52 win in 2011, a year in which Roswell was looking to repeat as state champions.
But in March of 2012, Roswell got revenge with a whopping 71-34 win against PV in the first round of state.
“All I can think about is revenge,” Armijo said.
It will be the first game against Roswell with Huff leading the Panthers on the sideline, and the first-year head coach knows the trip to Roswell has already paid dividends when it comes to team building.
“I knew coming in it would be a big tournament for us, especially after the way the season started,” he said. “But it has been even bigger for us to become a family and play as one, and we are doing that.”
Farmington 56, Los Alamos 44
After a tough loss to No. 1 Roswell in the opening round of the Poe Corn Tournament on Thursday, the Scorpions bounced back with a win Friday.
Farmington (4-6) received 16 points a piece from Josh Miller-Castillo and Matt Huffhines in a 56-44 win against Los Alamos (0-10).
“It is always a plus to get a win against a 4A school, and it was a good win for us,” said FHS head coach Paul Corley. “We outscored them 15-7 to lead 24-21 at half.”
The Scorps once again struggled from the free-throw line, but it didn’t get in the way of the team advancing to face Belen today at 11 a.m.
“It would be great to get out of this tournament 2-1. We struggled the first night against Roswell, but getting two wins out of this would give us some confidence going into next week’s Miyamura game. It can also help us down the road with the seeding process.”
Del Norte 59, Aztec 47
Aztec fell in the opening round of the Los Lunas tournament to the host team and found itself on the losing end again Friday to another 4A opponent.
The Tigers (3-4) fell to Del Norte 59-47 Friday and will face Valencia today
Jaime Lopez led the Tigers with 15 points and Conner Gaskins scored another 13 in the loss.
Though Aztec has lost its first two games to 4A teams, head coach Jody Christman knows this tournament will be invaluable experience for his young team moving forward.
“We have learned some valuable lessons here so far this weekend. We are going to take away from it and go forward,” he said.
Shiprock 93, NACA 48
The Chieftains will have a chance to defend their New Mexico American Indian Classic title tonight.
After winning the inaugural tournament in 2011, Shiprock has advanced to this year’s championship game to face Laguna Acoma.
Shiprock (10-2) defeated Native American Community Academy 93-48 Friday night behind Justin Begay’s 25 points.
Patdric Toehe had another 17 points in the win while Hiram Gleason also scored 15.
“We were sluggish the first five minutes after the long bus ride but, once we got into it, we played well,” said Shiprock head coach Chester H. Atcitty Jr. “We scored 33 in the second quarter and 37 in the third. We went cold in the fourth with only seven, but we worked in the bench guys so we could save our legs and get ready for Laguna Acoma.”
Atcitty is expecting a tough game against the 2A opponent in tonight’s game at the Santa Ana Star Center.
“If you look at MaxPreps.com, Acoma is leaps and bounds ranked above us. They are a 2A school, but we will have a challenge to step up to,” he said.
The game will tip-off at 8 p.m.
Navajo Prep 54, Navajo Pine 52 OT
Every time Navajo Prep and Navajo Pine meet up, exciting basketball ensues.
It was no different Friday night in Bernalillo as the two teams battled into overtime.
Trailing by two with 30 seconds remaining in overtime, Navajo Prep (5-3) executed a play out of a timeout to even the game at 52. Navajo Pine (5-1) took the ball down the court but missed a shot with six seconds to play, giving Jasmine Coleman enough time to haul in a rebound and find Hannah Antone with a pass deep down the court. Antone converted a layup as the buzzer sounded, giving Prep a 54-52 win.
"It was a very close game throughout. We started slow, which has been our weakness, but we trailed by only two at half after going down 10 early," said Prep head coach Rainy Crisp. "We were tied with 14 seconds to play in the fourth quarter, but we didn't execute the play we were supposed to run out of the timeout and we never got a shot off, so we went to overtime."
A big key for Navajo Prep was defense, and the Lady Eagles forced Pine's star senior guard Demetria Clichee to foul out with three minutes left in the fourth quarter.
"That is how we were able to get more pressure on their guards. Our defense really got us the win tonight, especially getting her to foul out," Crisp said.
Ashley Joe had 10 points, six assists and five steals in the win for Prep. Delta Higdon had another 11 points and eight rebounds.
The Lady Eagles will face Albuquerque Academy tonight at 6:30 p.m. at the Santa Ana Star Center for the championship of the New Mexico American Indian Classic.
"They will probably be taller than the girls we have seen before. We are going to go out there and hope the defense we played tonight carries into that game," Crisp said.
Piedra Vista 42, Crownpoint 12
After being nipped in overtime by Navajo Pine in the opening round of the New Mexico American Indian Classic, PV smashed Crownpoint on Friday.
Kaleigh Graham scored 19 points and hauled in 13 rebounds in just two quarters of work as the Lady Panthers (6-7) rolled past Crownpoint 42-12.
"We got more aggressive in the second quarter. We were sloppy and stagnant in the first and our minds weren't quite there, but we finally saw some focus in the second," said PV head coach Mike Christie.
PV will face Bernalillo at 8 a.m. today in its final game of the tournament.
Farmington 41, Silver 32
The Lady Scorpions picked up a much needed win Friday in Santa Fe.
After falling in the opening round of the Lady Horseman Invite at St. Michael's, Farmington (2-8) fought off Silver for a 41-32 win.
"It was a hard-fought game, and I am very proud of the girls," said FHS head coach Mike Switch. "We came out and executed on both sides. We struggled a bit in the third quarter and let them back in the game, but we stepped up the tempo again and took the win."
Shayna Carlowe led Farmington with 14 points in the win.
The Lady Scorps will face Pecos today at 3 p.m. in the final game of the tournament for Farmington.