Shiprock is quickly establishing itself as the dominate team in District 1-3A.
The Chieftains blew past Bloomfield 79-43 on Thursday night at the Chieftain Pit in Shiprock.
After a competitive first half, Shiprock (17-5, 2-0 District 1-3A) outscored the Bobcats 46-21 over the final two quarters to cruise to an easy win.
“We’re very happy and just want to blow out every team in our district,” said Shiprock senior Patdric Toehe. “If we can blow teams out in district, then we feel we’ll get a good seed at state.”
The Chieftains went on an 8-2 run to start the game and never relinquished the lead at any point in the game.
Bloomfield (7-15, 1-1 District 1-3A) kept the deficit around 10 points for most of the second quarter, but 16 first half turnovers kept the Bobcats from making a run before the halftime break as Shiprock took a 33-22 lead into the locker room.
“We got a little worried at the half,” said Chieftains’ head coach Chester H. Atcitty Jr. “The score was a little too close. They have gotten better, and we had to turn it up defensively.
Shiprock’s ability to control the tempo of the game made it tough for Bloomfield to execute its offense.
“They made us play at their speed and pressed us the entire game,” said Bobcats’ head coach Devon Manning. “We got caught up playing at their tempo instead of ours. We were playing their style. We only go six or seven deep, and they play nine or 10 guys.”
Outside shooting was a key for the Chieftains blowing the game open. Shiprock hit 11 3-pointers in the win compared to just one for Bloomfield.
Toehe hit five of those 3-pointers for Shiprock on his way to a game-high 22 points. Afterward, he credited his teammates for getting him open looks.
“I was feeling it tonight,” Toehe said. “I just get into the open space and my teammates will pass it to me. If it wasn’t for them then I wouldn’t have scored all of those points.”
Darryle Nelson scored 17 points, and Justin Begay had another 16 in the Chieftain victory.
Michael Crockett led Bloomfield with 16 points on 7-for-12 shooting from the field.
Ryan Johnson added 13 points for the Bobcats in the loss.
Shiprock had already defeated Bloomfield twice this season — 79-57 on Nov. 29 at Kirtland Central’s tournament and 78-39 on Dec. 20 in Shiprock.
Next, the Chieftains turn their attention to a home game with Wingate on Saturday, while the Bobcats will travel to Thoreau.
“We can’t get too confident no matter who our competitors are,” Atcitty said. “I respect the teams in our district. We just have to be consistent night in and night out with our intensity level.”