Monument Valley’s boys’ and girls’ basketball teams both visited Kirtland Central for two close games Thursday night.
The girls’ team from Monument Valley, Ariz., opened with a 46-41 win against the Lady Broncos (4-12) before the Kirtland Central boys’ team earned a bit of revenge with a 73-70 win.
Christian Mackey led the Broncos (8-10) with 19 points and 14 rebounds in the win.
“It was a good win. We played pretty well, especially offensively. It was the best game we have had in awhile,” said Kirtland Central boys’ coach John Zecca.
Kirtland Central saw its most well-rounded scoring performance of the season with Elijah Charles scoring a season-high 15 points and Jared Noble contributing 11 points off the bench.
“We are still trying to find our way, but this game showed we are getting closer,” Zecca said.
Monument Valley’s Brennan Holiday scored a game-high 30 points.
“We didn’t know much about Monument Valley coming into the game, and they hit quite a few 3s against us,” Zecca said.
Kirtland took a 16-15 lead at the end of the first quarter and gained separation in the second quarter, taking a 34-26 lead into halftime.
The win moved the Broncos to 5-3 at home. They are just 1-4 on the road this season and 2-3 on neutral courts.
“We are definitely a better team at home this season. We need to figure that out a bit and start playing better on the road during district,” Zecca said.
Lady Broncos head coach Kevin Holman saw some of the improvements he is hoping to see from his team before the district schedule begins.
Though the Lady Broncos came up short, Holman was happy with the fight his girls gave with a short bench Thursday night.
“We went down 12 at halftime and still trailed 11 going into the fourth. We made a good little run and battled all the way,” Holman said. “We had a chance to tie it late with a 3 that went in and out. It was another tough loss, but I liked that fight.”
Holman was down two varsity players Thursday and both teams were unable to use junior varsity players as the two schools’ JV squads played in Arizona.
Taylor Billey led the Lady Broncos with 14 points, and Keeshawna Ockerman scored another 12 in what Holman called an “outstanding game,” from his junior guard.
The Lady Broncos will square off with Santa Fe Indian tonight as the team looks to build on Thursday night’s game.
“We have to come back against one of the premier teams in the state in any classification and put out another good effort as we get ready for district,” Holman said.