A four-point play with two seconds remaining in the game propelled the Piedra Vista girls to a win against the No. 5-ranked 4A team in the state.
The Lady Panthers (9-7) trailed No. 5 Miyamura (6-4) early but played tight defense in the third quarter to get back in the game.
Kelseigh Simpson hit two 3-point shots in the third quarter as PV outscored the Patriots 11-4 to take a 30-28 lead into the fourth quarter.
PV trailed by three late after Miyamura hit 1-of-2 shot from the foul line, but Simpson buried another 3-point shot from the corner as she was fouled with just two seconds left.
Simpson stepped to the free-throw line and made her shot to convert on a four-point play to give PV a 43-42 win.
“One of the most incredible wins of my coaching career, really,” said PV head coach Mike Christie. “To win by one on a four-point play? You don’t see that too often.”
Simpson finished with a team-high 15 points. She hit four 3-point shots in the game.
“It’s unreal. I will never forget this moment,” Simpson said. “I am thankful for my team, coach and fans who believed in me.”
Kaleigh Graham had another 12 points and 11 rebounds in the PV victory.
PV now has consecutive wins to open 2013 with a tough schedule ahead with Durango on Saturday and both Santa Fe Indian School and Gallup next week.
“I think this win will really help us. We are nowhere near peaking with all the turnovers we had tonight. If we can keep building, we will be hard to beat,” Christie said.
Christie wants to see his team come out with more energy early in games. He also wants the team to be able to sustain that energy throughout an entire game.
“I told the girls ‘This isn’t volleyball. We don’t need momentum.’ We get momentum when our energy comes up, but we need to find a way to have that energy from start to finish,” he said.
Mesa Vista 55, Farmington 49
Thirty-one turnovers led to a loss against a 2A opponent Thursday for Farmington.
The Lady Scorpions (3-9) had a small lead going into the fourth quarter against Mesa Vista (5-6), but costly turnovers eventually cost Farmington the game in a 55-49 loss to the District 7-2A school.
“It was one of those times where nothing was going right at all,” said Farmington head coach Mike Switch. “We had tons of them today. We blew our fourth-quarter lead.”
Farmington got in a hole early, trailing 29-22 at halftime, but a 16-8 advantage in the third quarter gave the Lady Scorps a lead.
“We held the lead for several minutes but we couldn’t hold onto the ball. Pressure on us forced turnovers,” Switch said.
The Lady Scorps committed 10 of their 31 turnovers in the first quarter.
Tishena Yazzie led Farmington with 11 points while Shayna Carlowe scored 10 in the loss.
Farmington will play again in the consolation bracket at 9 a.m. today against Bloomfield.
Jemez Valley 61, Bloomfield 58
Bloomfield cut away at an 11-point Jemez Valley lead in the first half, but the Lady Bobcats couldn’t do enough to take a lead Thursday.
The Lady Bobcats (3-9) fell to the Warriors (9-2) 61-58 in the first round of the Cuba tournament.
“It was a close game. We cut their lead to just six at halftime and we tied it up with like seven minutes to go in the fourth, but we couldn’t get over the top,” said Bloomfield head coach Dan Larabee.
Larabee wasn’t pleased with his team’s performance, citing missed layups and an inability to box out for the loss.
“We made a lot of mistakes and didn’t box out their big girl (Aubre Chosa), who had 18 points against us,” Larabee said. “If we would have boxed out and made easy layups, it would have been a totally different game.”
Haili Bekes scored a team-high 15 points for Bloomfield in the loss.
The Lady Bobcats will play again at 9 a.m. today against Farmington.
“I would hope the girls would come out fired up for that game. It will be a tight one either way, and it will come down to mistakes,” Larabee. “We want to tighten things up and get rid of our obvious mistakes. I don’t mind missing shots, but turning the ball over and not doing what we need to on defense hurts.”
Farmington 61, Artesia 57
Experience in close games early in the season benefitted the Scorpions in another close game Thursday.
Farmington (5-7) overcame a two-pont fourth-quarter deficit to take a 61-57 win against Artesia (8-5) in the opening round of the Gallup tournament.
“Those nail-biters we had at the beginning of the season are paying off now,” said Farmington head coach Paul Corley. “We are figuring out how to win close games at the end. That is a sign of our team maturing.”
The game remained tied at halftime and Artesia took a 48-46 lead into the final quarter. With the game tied at 50, the Scorps went on a 7-0 run to establish an insurmountable lead.
“A lot of that run was us switching up our offense and getting backdoor cuts to the basket. We got three layups off of that,” Corley said. “It was an adjustment with our offense, and the guys did an excellent job executing and making the right passes.”
Matt Huffhines led Farmington with 21 points. Ethan Graf scored another 13 and Frankie Gutierrez added 12.
Since losing Brad Betz to injury, Corley has inserted Gutierrez and Kyle Reynolds into the starting lineup, and he credited their play for energizing the team early in games.
“They have given us a spark in the beginning of games, which we had been lacking,” Corley said. “Gutierrez is an athlete and is getting his groove. He comes in and competes for rebounds and does the little things.”
Farmington will face Gallup tonight at 7:30 p.m.
The Bengals (6-5) handled Tohatchi on Thursday to advance in their own tournament
Farmington is looking for revenge tonight after dropping the previous two meetings with Gallup this year by a combined nine points.
“There will be a big crowd for that game, and it will be a good atmosphere,” Corley said. “That helps our team, playing in front of the big crowds. It will help going into our district games where we will have good crowds.”
St. Pius X 68, Kirtland Central 43
The Broncos trailed the entire way against St. Pius X, but got the game within two points in the third quarter before falling apart and losing by 25.
Kirtland Central (6-8) eventually fell 68-43 to No. 4 St. Pius X (6-3) in the opening round of the Gallup tournament.
“We got whooped,” said Broncos head coach John Zecca. “We were down 10 at half and actually came out and played tough defense in the third quarter to get within two points. I don’t know if we ran out of gas or what, but we fell apart after that. The next thing I knew, we were down 20.”
The Sartans defense eventually wore down the Broncos, Zecca said.
“St. Pius is a very good team with a lot of senior leadership. They have been through battles,” Zecca said. “It never hurts to play a team like that, even if you take a licking. I told our guys, that is a team we can try to mimic in some ways because they get after you. That is how you have to play.”
Kirtland Central center Christian Mackey was held to just eight points while Joseph Willie led the Broncos with 16.
Zecca is hoping to see his team respond to the loss against Grants at 1 p.m. today.
“The guys weren’t happy with the loss. We realize Pius is a tough team, but the fact we cut it to a two-point game and then lose by 25 brought everyone down,” he said. “We have to rebound against another quality 4A team in Grants. I just want to see the guys loosen up and play the way they can.”