Bloomfield still can’t contain Matt Huffhines.
A week after scoring 40 on the Bobcats, the Farmington High senior dropped 26 points in the Scorpions’ 48-40 win Tuesday.
“My teammates trusted me to shoot shots. I was just on again tonight. I feel I have to step up, but not always on the scoring side. But my teammates feed me the ball, and I score — simple as that.” said Huffhines, who went 9-for-16 from the field, including 4-for-8 from 3-point range.
The Bobcats (5-12) slowed the FHS star in the first quarter, holding Huffhines to only two points, but he answered with 14 of the 15 FHS points in the second, including a 3-pointer at the buzzer to give the Scorps a 25-15 lead at halftime.
Mental lapses on defense proved to be Bloomfield’s downfall, said Bobcats’ head coach Devon Manning
“We’re not mentally strong enough,” Manning said. “What cost us were the last three minutes of the second quarter. He went off for two 3s and a layup. They did a great job of finding him, but our guys have to get mentally tough.”
The Bobcats couldn’t find any answers for Huffhines in the second half, either, as the FHS guard scored seven of the Scorps 10 third quarter points to take a 35-24 lead into the final quarter.
“Matt is just unbeliveable. He comes every game ready to play. He’s just been our leader,” said FHS head coach Paul Corley. “He’s kind of a quiet leader — not real vocal, but you look at the stats and he leads us almost every game. I have to give it to coach Manning, though. He has done a great job with his guys. They play with a lot of effort and heart out there.”
Bloomfield fought back in the fourth quarter to trim the Scorps’ lead to five on two occasions, but could never get any closer.
Ryan Johnson led the Bobcats with 10 points in the loss.
Bloomfield struggled throughout the game at the free-throw line hitting just 8-of-19, while the Scorps made 9-of-15.
Both teams had trouble with turnovers with the Bobcats committing 20 and the Scorps committing 17.
Bloomfield will play next against Kirtland Central on Thursday. The Bobcats may be shorthanded in the game after point guard Ray Sanchez emerged from a jump ball scrum with a bloody nose. He sustained the injury during a scrum for a loose ball. No foul was called, with a jump ball being called instead.
“I think he has a broken nose,” Manning said. “We have to see what the doctors say. I don’t know if he’ll be able to go, and if he can’t go we’ll have to adjust. It’s got to be a collective effort.”
FHS (8-11) will play its last non-district game next Tuesday at 3A No. 3 Shiprock.
“I love playing against big crowds like that,” Huffhines said. “They’re rowdy. It’s fun to quiet some fans.”
Miyamura 60, Aztec 53
The Tigers offensive struggles ended up being their downfall as they lost a close game to the Patriots.
“We just didn’t play very fast on offense today,” said Aztec head coach Jody Christman. “We mixed in our full court and half court presses, but we just turned the ball over. We had possessions to take lead or tie the game but we’re just too loose with the ball.”
Wyatt Schlueter led Aztec (7-9) with 13 points. Kyle Dodd added 12 points and Jaime Lopez chipped in 10 in the Tigers’ loss.
Aztec will look to regroup Friday during a home matchup with Shiprock.
“We didn’t learn our lessons tonight, and hopefully we figure them out this time because Shiprock is a good team,” Christman said.
Crownpoint 64, Navajo Prep 60
Free-throw shooting cost the Eagles as they fell to Crownpoint in a tight district battle.
Navajo Prep shot just 13-for-38 from the free-throw line in the loss.
“We’re not going to win close games shooting free throws like that,” said Eagles’ head coach Dustin Moore.
The Eagles (4-11 overall, 0-3 District 1-2A) were led by Mika Mauga with 15 points and Isaiah Yazzie with 13.
Next for Prep will be a road game against Tohatchi on Friday.
“I tell the guys that we’re just at that hump. We can’t put our heads down,” Moore said. “We’re just going to play the best we can. I think they are coming along.”