Kirtland Central’s Seldon Watson is fouled by Mesilla Valley’s Dalton Rice as Watson drives the lane toward the basket on Friday at Kirtland
Kirtland Central's Seldon Watson is fouled by Mesilla Valley's Dalton Rice as Watson drives the lane toward the basket on Friday at Kirtland Central High School. (Jon Austria — The Daily Times)

KIRTLAND — Kirtland Central notched its second win in two days to advance to the final of the 2013 Webb Toyota Basin Tournament.

The Broncos knocked off Mesilla Valley 74-63 thanks to 23 points and 16 rebounds from Christian Mackey on Friday night in Kirtland.

"He was an animal tonight," KCHS head coach John Zecca said of Mackey. "He was huge for us, and the other guys stepped up when he was out."

KCHS (3-0) jumped out to a 26-10 lead after the first quarter and cruised from there against the SonBlazers (2-1).

"We wanted to come out and make the championship game, so the pressure was on us a little," Zecca said. "Coming out and building that early lead took a little pressure off of us. They didn't go away, and I knew they wouldn't. They have a tough mentality."

Reese Foutz and Bud Willie added 14 points each for the Broncos in the victory.

Foutz said he and his teammates have been motivated to come out and take some of the scoring load off of Mackey's shoulders.

"They're focused on Christian a lot, so that helps me. There's been a lot talk that we don't have good guards so we've been working hard," Foutz said.

Zecca said the more balanced offense will continue to be key going forward this season.

"The experience is coming up big," he said. "Reese is playing well. I call him the slasher because he's going to the hole, and he's fast. Seldon (Watson) has been good. Bud's been good as usual. Eli Charles is playing more within himself. We've even got guys on the bench that I can trust. That's the main difference this year."

Mackey got in foul trouble in the first half, picking up his third with about four minutes left.

Despite that, Kirtland maintained its advantage and took a 46-31 lead into halftime.

"I trust my team, and they fill in when I may slip. It's going to happen. I was a little over-aggressive tonight, but my team stepped up," Mackey said. "We've grown up together. We all know how each other plays. They all play great, and I wouldn't want to be on another team."

Kirtland Central’s Bud Willie shoots a three-pointer against Mesilla Valley on Friday at Kirtland Central High School.
Kirtland Central's Bud Willie shoots a three-pointer against Mesilla Valley on Friday at Kirtland Central High School. (Jon Austria — The Daily Times)

Jeff Alder led the Blazers for the second straight game with 27 points, and Nick Nunley scored 22 points in the loss.

"They're well-rounded players. They'll have a good season this year," Mackey said.

The Broncos will face Ignacio, Colo., in the tournament championship today, while Mesilla Valley concludes with Bloomfield.

"They're a great team. It's going be a tough game for sure," Zecca said of Ignacio. "They're smart and know the game. They're always in the right position and play as a team."

Ignacio 53, Shiprock 46

The Chieftains dropped their second game in as many days at the Basin Tournament.

"That ball club is big and strong, and they played really well," Shiprock head coach Chester H. Atcitty Jr. said of Ignacio, Colo. "They were ready to shoot from the outside and we didn't close the gaps."

The Bobcats (2-0) hit eight 3-pointers in the win, including three from Clayton Jefferson, who scored a team-high 13 points.

Ignacio used an 8-0 run early in the first quarter to build a 9-2 lead that the team would never relinquish.

Ignacio's lead grew to 17 points early in the fourth quarter. Shiprock (1-2) tried to mount a comeback, cutting the deficit to five with less than a minute left, but couldn't get any closer as the Bobcats hung on for the victory.

Hiram Gleason led Shiprock with 19 points on 7-of-12 shooting, and Deron Johnson added 10 points, all in the second half in the loss.

Shiprock will face Whitehorse today in its final game of the tournament.

"We want to have better shot selection," Atcitty said. "We know we can run and gun. It's about working on our defensive philosophy."

Bloomfield 53, Whitehorse 30

The Bobcats hit seven 3-pointers in the first half to build a comfortable lead on their way to a victory against the Raiders (0-2).

Tyler Benally led Bloomfield (1-1) in scoring with 14 points, hitting 5-of-9 from the field, including 3-of-5 from 3-point range.

Malachi Pablo and Tyler Barker added 11 points apiece for the Bobcats in the win.

Bloomfield head coach Devon Manning liked the more balanced offensive attack from his team after Ray Sanchez was the only Bloomfield player to score in double figures against Ignacio.

"That's what I'm hoping for from this group -- to be a well-balanced team," he said. "We can't just rely on one player to do it all."

After hitting 7-of-16 from 3-point range in the first half, the Bobcats missed all six attempts in the final two quarters.

Manning thought the streaky shooting gave the team an early boost, but knows his team can't be too reliant on the jumpshot in the future.

"We've got a long way to go, and I know if we make seven 3s in the first half, we probably won't make a whole lot more after that," he said. "We've got to realize we can't relax."

Girls basketball
Kirtland Central 62, Wingate 28

The Lady Broncos (1-2) got their first win of the season with a dominant performance against Wingate on Friday at the Gallup Tournament.

"We just came out and played pretty well and were up by 30 in the second half," KCHS head coach Kevin Holman said.

KCHS didn't have a scorer in double figures, but Holman said just about everyone on the roster played and scored for the Lady Broncos.

"It was good to see everyone get some time," Holman said. "We got to get better, and we'll see how we do with St. Pius tomorrow."

The Lady Broncos will finish the tournament with the Lady Sartans today.

Shiprock 56, Ignacio 20

Shiprock won easily for the second straight day with a blowout victory in the Lady Chieftain Invite.

Shiprock (4-0) started slowly in the first quarter, outscoring the Lady Bobcats 6-5, but used an 18-4 run in the second quarter to get some breathing room.

"We kind of had a sluggish start, but, in the second quarter, we snapped out of it," said Shiprock head coach Larenson Henderson.

Shania Harry and Aranxta Curley led the Lady Chiefs with 11 points each.

Shiprock concludes its tournament today with Farmington High.

"Farmington also got two wins, and they look decent, so we'll see how we do with them," Henderson said.

Farmington 56, Cortez 33

The Lady Scorpions advanced to the final of the Lady Chieftain Invite with a dominant win against Cortez, Colo.

Meeya Yazzie led FHS (2-1) with 16 points, and Tanisha Beetso scored in double figures with 11.

Amber Herbert and Shayna Carlowe each added eight in the victory.

Joshua Perry covers sports for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4577 or Follow him on Twitter @jperrysuu.