On a night where Jake Armijo and Ty Jaquez’s jumpers went cold, Troy Dixon stepped up to guide Piedra Vista to a win against Bloomfield.
Dixon scored a game-high 15 points as the Panthers came back in the fourth quarter to beat the Bobcats 54-46 on Friday night.
After Armijo and Jaquez combined for 47 points the first time the two teams met on Jan. 12, Bloomfield made a concerted effort to lock down the two PV stars but, in doing so, created openings for Dixon.
“We needed to get out on all their shooters, but their No. 10 (Dixon) hit two big 3s in the fourth to turn the game around,” said Bloomfield head coach Devon Manning.
PV entered the fourth quarter trailing 41-37, but Dixon hit a pair of 3-pointers to draw the Panthers even with Bloomfield at 43 with four minutes to play.
Jaquez then took over, scoring seven of his 14 points in the final two minutes of the game to seal the victory for PV.
The Panthers (10-10) turned up the pressure on defense in the second half, forcing the Bobcats into 15 turnovers while PV committed just seven over the final two quarters to help turn the tide.
“We’ve been preaching make the simple play for the last two months, but then we decide to go haywire when PV puts a little pressure on us,” Manning said.
The Panthers felt fortunate to pull out the victory after a strong Bloomfield effort.
“They play harder than us and honestly deserved to win that game,” said PV head coach Adam Huff. “Our talent advantage just showed through a little bit there at the end. Jake wasn’t shooting well. Ty wasn’t shooting well. They sat in that zone, and I thought we had a lot of looks from the outside, but we weren’t knocking them down.”
The Bloomfield zone gave Armijo and Jaquez problems throughout the contest as the two combined for 6-for-25 from the field. Armijo was held to just two points and went 0-for-7 from 3-point range after scoring 29 points against the Bobcats in their first meeting.
The Panthers went just 6-for-26 from 3-point range as a team with Dixon hitting three of the six 3-pointers.
Both teams struggled with turnovers in the game with PV committing 23 and Bloomfield committing 28.
Neither team shot free throws well as the Bobcats hit just 10-for-17 from the line, while the Panthers knocked down only 8-for-14.
Dustin Dugger led Bloomfield (6-13) with 12 points in the loss as the Bobcats will now shift their focus to Aztec on Tuesday before beginning the district season a week from today.
“We have to focus on Aztec, but if these last three games don’t have us ready for district then I don’t know what will,” Manning said.
The Panthers are off for a week before beginning their district schedule against Aztec.
“I’m giving them a few days off to recharge the batteries, then we’ll have a gameplan for Aztec ready on Monday,” Huff said. “It’s tough to tell how Aztec will play. They started out the year playing slow, then they’ve sped things up. We’ll prepare for them to play fast then adjust from there.”