FARMINGTON — A late rally pushed the Shiprock Chieftains past Aztec on Tuesday.
The Aztec Tigers (1-4) led Shiprock (3-2) by two points at halftime and 52-51 halfway through the fourth quarter, but the Chieftains closed out the game on a 17-6 run to take a 69-58 victory at home in the Chieftain Pit.
"It was a close, tight ball game. It was nice to close it out with a win," said Shiprock head coach Chester H. Atcitty Jr. "It was good to take care of the ball and make every possession count to close out the game."
Atcitty said senior guard Hiram Gleason drew a charge with just under five minutes left that he called a key moment. Gleason finished the game with 12 points and Justin Begay had a game-high 27 points in the Shiprock win.
Aztec came our firing and shot well from behind the 3-point line, Atcitty said.
"We came off the floor with our heads held high. The guys were upset we didn't win, but you could tell they felt we did a good job against a good team," said Aztec assistant coach Carl Downing. "It was very competitive basketball."
Shiprock shot 4-of-7 from the free-throw line down the stretch to help pad its lead.
Eli King and Juwan Charley each had 12 points in the loss for Aztec.
Aztec's next game is at Mancos, Colo., on Thursday. Shiprock is in action Thursday through Saturday in Farmington High's Marv Sanders Invitational. The Chieftains open the tournament against Farmington High at 7 p.m. on Thursday night.
"We need tough games at this point in the season, and that is what this tournament is," Atcitty said. "It is a balanced tourney with a lot of good teams. There is something for everyone because every local team is matched with real good competition."
Piedra Vista 54, Cleveland 37
The Piedra Vista Lady Panthers picked up a good road win against a Class 5A school on Tuesday.
PV (3-1) overcame what head coach Joe Reed called a sloppy first quarter to defeat the Cleveland Storm 54-37 in Rio Rancho.
"Cleveland is always tough and has tremendous athletes," Reed said. "We came in and tried to man them, and they were too quick for us. We changed to a zone in the second half and rebounded well. We dominated the boards and took care of business."
Kaleigh Graham led the way for PV with 24 points and 20 rebounds, and Kieyoomia Benally had 11 more points.
PV started slow with 12 first-quarter turnovers, but Reed was happy with the way his team made adjustments.
The Lady Panthers were supposed to play Montezuma-Cortez on Thursday, but that game has been canceled. PV will play Shiprock in Friday in its next game.
"That will be another tough game, and then we get Santa Fe next Monday. We are going to go hard and try to win both of those," Reed said
Bayfield 42, Bloomfield 30
The Bloomfield Lady Bobcats dropped to 0-2 on Tuesday.
Bayfield High of Colorado defeated Bloomfield 42-30 at Bobcat Gymnasium.
"We ended up losing, but I was pleased with my girls' effort. We led a lot of the first half," said Bloomfield head coach Tom Adair. "Once we got behind, we were fighting the mentality. We have to get over being frustrated, but I love our kids' effort and hustle."
Adair said the Lady Bobcats missed 34 shots on Tuesday.
"A lot of those were easy chip shots. In our gym, we shouldn't be doing that. We just have to keep working, because we don't miss those in practice," he said.
Adair estimated Tashai Werito and Shaelyn White each had 10 points to lead the game.
The Lady Bobcats play in the Laguna Acoma tournament this weekend, beginning with an 8 a.m. game against Cuba on Thursday.John Livingston can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org; 505-564-4648. Follow him on Twitter @jlivi2.