Shiprock had a few opportunities late to win the game, but Laguna Acoma outlasted the Chieftains on Saturday in the New Mexico American Indian Classic championship game.
The Chieftains (10-3) returned to the Santa Ana Star Center looking to repeat as NMAIC champs, but Laguna Acoma (11-1) and star guard Anthony Carpio were too much for Shiprock to handle in the end this year.
Carpio scored a game-high 24 points for the Hawks in the team’s 59-58 win.
“Laguna Acoma led 70 percent of the game. We had a lead at half, but Laguna is a good ball club and Carpio made phenomenal moves against us in one-on-one situations,” said Shiprock head coach Chester H. Atcitty Jr. “I have great players, too, but Caprio is a kid who can dominate.”
Laguna Acoma, a 2A school, is ranked No. 18 in the state, but Atcitty wasn’t satisfied with simply playing a close game with such a high-caliber team.
“We had our chances to win. With 18 seconds left, we got the ball past half court and I called a timeout with us down by one,” he said. “We came out of the timeout, and the referee moved the ball back three-quarters length instead of at half court. It was one of those deals.
“We did get a shot off with a good look, but the ball hit the back side of the glass and that was it. We came up short.”
Dominique Todacheenie led Shiprock with 19 points. Justin Begay added 11 and Kevin Aspaas had 10 in the loss.

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Atcitty said Shiprock ran its offense well, but the team couldn’t contest Laguna Acoma’s 3-point shots as they fell with ease.
“We also had important turnovers. We have to learn to stop reaching so much and making gambles on defense and then getting burned, too,” he said. “This tournament was a good learning experience for us. It is just unfortunate we keep losing games by one.”
Shiprock has a week off before playing four games the week of
Jan. 7.

Roswell 85, Piedra Vista 45
The Coytoes won the Poe Corn Tournament championship game for the fifth consecutive year on Saturday.
No. 1 Roswell (10-0) defeated Piedra Vista (6-8) in a 85-45 blowout.
It was the first time in the 10 years Piedra Vista has participated in the tournament the Panthers have reached the championship game.
“We have to be satisfied. It was a new experience for the guys, and we are coming out of this tournament as a team,” said PV head coach Adam Huff. “We got blown out, but it was a good weekend for us because now we know we are a better team than our record shows.”
Jake Armijo led PV with 11 points in the loss while Roswell’s Anthony Olguin scored 26.
The Panthers were unable to handle Roswell’s considerable size advantage.
“They did whatever they wanted under the hoop. Their size killed us early,” Huff said.
PV also struggled with foul trouble as three starters and a key bench player all picked up two quick fouls in the first quarter.
The Panthers have a lengthy break before playing in the Aztec tournament beginning Jan. 10.
“I am excited to get some time off and work on some little things with the guys,” Huff said. “The second half of the season is going to be exciting, and I think some teams are going to have troubling handling us.”

Belen 65, Farmington 61
Matt Huffhines scored 20 of his 27 points in the second half to lead Farmington on a furious comeback, but the Scorpions still fell short against Belen.
Trailing 38-25 at halftime, Huffhines helped the Scorps outscore the Eagles 17-6 in the third quarter to cut the deficit to just two points.
But the Scorps (4-7) missed some crucial free throws in the fourth quarter while Belen shot 12-of-15 at the line in the final eight minutes to collect a 65-61 win.
“We really struggled in the first half. We were in first gear,” said FHS head coach Paul Corley. “We didn’t match Belen’s intensity at first, but our guys fought.”
Farmington has now lost five of its seven games by six points or less.
“It hurts not being able to beat some of these 4A teams and getting close,” Corley said. “We aren’t out for moral victories. We need to help our resumé down the road by getting some of these wins.”Josh Miller-Castillo scored 13 points in the loss while Ethan Graf also scored 12.
Farmington finished the Poe Corn Tournament in Roswell 1-2.
The Scorps are off until Friday when they host Miyamura.

Valencia 49, Aztec 43
Aztec played its first three games against New Mexico 4A opponents this weekend in Los Lunas, and the Tigers came home Saturday night 0-3.
The Tigers (3-5) fell to Valencia (3-10) 49-43 Saturday.
Still, it was an educational weekend for Aztec and its head coach Jody Christman.
“I hope we learned some lessons from these games. Time will tell whether or not we have,” he said.
Aztec led by three going into the fourth quarter, but shot just 1-for-8 at the free-throw line down the stretch as Valencia claimed a lead.
Wyatt Schlueter and Jaime Lopez each scored 11 points in the loss for Aztec.
The Tigers face Bloomfield Jan. 8 before hosting a tournament beginning Jan. 10.

Girls Basketball
Albuquerque Academy 35, Navajo Prep 34
Another slow start cost the Navajo Prep Lady Eagles on Saturday.
Navajo Prep (5-4) played catchup all game after trailing Albuquerque Academy (3-7) early in the championship game of the New Mexico American Indian Classic at the Santa Ana Star Center in Bernalillo.
RaineeSommer Yazzie hit three free throws with just under two seconds remaining in the game to bring the Lady Eagles to within one point, but Prep couldn’t get any closer as Academy took a 35-34 win.
“We did have our chances to win it in the fourth, but free throws killed us in the end other than RaineeSommer’s,” Crisp said. “Their size wasn’t a problem for us, but Academy had one quick guard we couldn’t contain.”
Navajo Prep finished second in the tournament with a 2-1 record, but Crisp was even more impressed with her team’s performance off the court during the three-day tournament.
“The tournament helped us come together more. We were lacking some of that before, but we saw a lot of positives this week,” she said. “The educational aspects of the NMAIC makes it a great tournament for our girls, too. It wasn’t all about basketball this week, it was also about the girls’ futures and their wanting to go to college and succeed.”
Prep is off until Jan. 8 when it plays Piedra Vista.

Piedra Vista 37, Bernalillo 30
Kaleigh Graham continued her dominance in the New Mexico American Indian Classic with another 16 points and 13 rebounds Saturday.
Graham led Piedra Vista (7-7) to a 37-30 win against Bernalillo en rout to an all-tournament team honor.
She finished the tournament averaging 17 points and 16 rebounds per game.
PV led Bernalillo the entire way, maintaining an eight- to 12-point lead throughout most of the game.
The Lady Panthers finished fifth in the tournament with a 2-1 record after losing in the opening round to third-place Navajo Pine in overtime of a first-round game.
PV will face Navajo Prep on Jan. 8 before playing Miyamura Jan. 10.

Farmington 50, Pecos 33
The Lady Scorpions have their first winning streak of the season.
Farmington (3-8) defeated Pecos 50-33 in the consolation final of the St. Michael’s tournament Saturday in Santa Fe.
Shayna Carlowe led the Lady Scorps with 13 points in the win. She was also named to the all-tournament team.
Tishena Yazzie had another 12 points for Farmington on Saturday while Miya Yazzie scored another seven.
Farmington jumped out to a 15-5 lead and continued momentum throughout the game, said head coach Mike Switch.
“We played pretty well, most importantly on defense,” he said.
Farmington is off until the Cuba Invite, which begins Jan. 10.