No. 4 Shiprock's romp through District 1-3A continued as the Chieftains claimed the regular season title and the top seed in the district tournament Thursday night in Bloomfield.
The Chieftains defeated Bloomfield 62-39 to lock up home court for the tournament title game a week from Saturday.
Junior Justin Begay returned for Shiprock (20-5, 5-0 District 1-3A) after missing the last game against Thoreau with a sprained ankle. He scored a game-high 15 points for the Chieftains.
"I've been doing rehab on the ankle for the last week," Begay said. "We limited my minutes, but I was able to make the most of them. We'll just rest until the state tournament, so I can be at full force."
Begay feels the Chieftains are rounding into form and will be a state title contender come playoff time.
"Our district is tough and this will help in our seeding for state," he said. "We want as high of a seed as we can get so we can get a home game and make as deep of a run as we can."
Bloomfield (9-16, 3-2) hung around with Shiprock for the first four minutes of the game, tying the score at 7, but the Chieftains went on a 7-0 run late in the first quarter to open up a 19-11 lead.
Shiprock never relinquished its advantage for the rest of the game and cruised to its fourth victory of the season over the Bobcats.
Hiram Gleason added 11 points, eight in the first quarter, for the Chieftains.
Dustin Dugger scored 12 points to lead Bloomfield, and Ryan Johnson tacked on 11 points in the loss.
Shiprock will close out the regular season with a game against Wingate on Saturday, while Bloomfield will try to lock up the No. 2 seed for the district tournament with a home game against Thoreau.
"We can't let this game effect us when it comes to Saturday," said Bloomfield head coach Devon Manning. "We'll put this game behind us and get ready for Thoreau. Thoreau has some good little players and if we don't come out ready to play, then they can surprise us.
"We're playing for state and district, so our guys can't sit and think we're good where we're at because we're not. We have to keep moving forward. We still have something to play for, so we'll see how they accept that challenge."
Shiprock head coach Chester H. Atcitty Jr. declined to comment following the win.