FARMINGTON — The Farmington High boys gained more momentum with an overtime win in Gallup.
The Scorpions entered Friday night's game at Miyamura on their first winning streak of the year after winning two games at the Poe Corn Invite in Roswell after Christmas. Farmington made it three in a row on Friday night by defeating the Miyamura Patriots 47-46 in overtime.
Clutch free-throw shooting by Alex Whitely late in the fourth quarter helped Farmington get the game to overtime as Whitely went 3-of-4 from the line down the stretch.
A big 3-point basket by Victor Lopez gave the Scorps (4-8) a one-point lead in overtime that proved to be enough for the victory.
"It was a thriller down in Gallup," said FHS head coach Paul Corley. "We were up three points going to the fourth quarter, but they caught us. We had bad mistakes there at the end. We survived a few late shots by them at the end of regulation and got it to overtime where we outscored them 5-4."
Max Pinon led Farmington with 16 points in the game. Kyle Reynolds added another eight points against the Patriots (3-4).
Corley called the win another big confidence booster for his young team.
"Coming in after a one-week layoff after two wins in Roswell and getting this win is big. You hate losing close games, but it sure is sweet winning them," Corley said. "It is good for our kids to be in a position to play in close games and get the experience of winning them. We are going to be in a lot of close games in district, so it definitely helps."
The Farmington Lady Scorpions were also in action against Miyamura on Friday night. That game was played in Farmington and was the second of the day for the Patriots, who defeated Artesia 59-47 on Friday morning in the second round of the Aztec girls' tournament.
Miyamura's girls (6-3) went 2-0 on Friday after defeating the Lady Scorps 55-46.
"We had really good effort, but Miyamura had one girl who scored 29 against us. We let her dictate her own pace too much," said FHS girls coach Danny Secrest.
Meeya Yazzie led the Lady Scorps (6-6) with 15 points. Shayna Carlowe had another eight.
Farmington High's girls are off until Tuesday when they face Navajo Prep. The boys won't play again until Thursday when they open play in the Gallup tournament against Sandia Prep.
"We are still getting our chemistry together as a varsity team. We want to keep maturing as the kids understand every possession counts," Corley said.
Grants 45, Kirtland Central 43
The Kirtland Central Lady Broncos hung tough with Grants on the road on Friday night, but it wasn't enough to get a win.
Kirtland Central (2-7) fell just short of a comeback victory in a 45-43 loss in Grants (7-2).
"We had the ball the last 24 seconds. We came down the floor and just didn't take care of the ball and turned it over," said Kirtland Central assistant coach Rochelle Curry. "We just didn't finish the game."
Four players -- Orquidea Reyes, Megan Silversmith, Keeshawna Ockerman and Shamika Benally -- led the Lady Broncos in scoring with eight points each.
Kirtland Central led at one point in the second quarter, but an 8-1 run to close the first half by the Lady Pirates gave Grants a 29-26 halftime lead.
Grants took a 36-31 lead into the final quarter and was able to hang on from there.
Curry was happy with the way the Lady Broncos implemented new schemes practiced over the holiday break. She hopes playing in a close game at Grants helps the young team gain experience as they build toward the district season.
"Playing in tight games like that is good for the kids. The next time we are in position like that, we hope it works out in our favor," she said.
Kirtland Central is back in action at home tonight against Gallup.
Piedra Vista 38, Laguna Acoma 31
The Piedra Vista Lady Panthers advanced to the championship round of the New Mexico American Indian Classic with a win Friday night.
PV (6-4) defeated Laguna Acoma (9-2) 38-31 at the Santa Ana Star Center in Rio Rancho. The win sends the Lady Panthers to the title game of the tournament against Albuquerque Academy, which will be played at 6:30 p.m. today back at the Star Center.
"That is going to be a big game for us," said PV head coach Joe Reed of the game against Academy. "We haven't had many games against other 4A teams. The ones we have had, we didn't play very well. It will be an important game the seeding committee looks at come the end of the year."
Kieyoomia Benally led Piedra Vista with 17 points on Friday night against Laguna Acoma. Nine of her points came from behind the 3-point line.
Reed said the key to the game was taking away Laguna Acoma senior guard Lacey Natseway.
"We knew right away she was their best player. She had their first eight points in the game," Reed said of Natseway. "We changed up our defense and took her away and held her to one point the rest of the day. The defense of Payton Kee and Felicia Jimson was the key to wearing her down."
Reed was happy to get the win in a hostile arena against a tough Lady Hawks team.
"The crowd was rowdy, and Acoma is really good. They are scrappy," Reed said. "We got up by 11 points at one time, and I thought we would put them away, but they kept fighting back."
Reed looks forward to tonight's game with Academy in the final.
"We are not familiar with Academy, so we are looking forward to the challenge," Reed said.
Navajo Prep 69, NACA 6
The Navajo Prep Lady Eagles won an extremely lopsided game Friday night.
Navajo Prep defeated Native American Community Academy 69-6 in the consolation bracket of the New Mexico American Indian Classic in Rio Rancho.
"We just came out and played good, aggressive defense from the very beginning to the very end," said Prep head coach Rainy Crisp. "It was a good team win."
Jazmine Benally led the Lady Eagles (4-5) with 13 points. Every Navajo Prep player scored in the game.
"We created a lot of easy points for ourselves because of our good defensive play and forcing turnovers," Crisp said.
Navajo Prep lost its first-round game of the tournament to Piedra Vista. Crisp was happy with the way her team responded, and she hopes that carries into today's game at 8:30 p.m. against Red Mesa, Ariz.
"It was good to see the girls shake the PV game off and come in and play. Red Mesa will be a lot tougher team for us to face, so we need to carry some confidence over and finish the tournament strong," Crisp said.
Aztec 59, Wingate 45
The Aztec girls picked up their second win of the season on Friday.
The Lady Tigers (2-7) defeated Wingate 59-45 behind Morgan Smith's 19 points in the consolation bracket of Aztec's Rumble in the Jungle tournament.
Aztec trailed Wingate 13-7 after one quarter but rallied to take a 25-22 halftime lead. It was smooth sailing from there as Aztec outscored Wingate 12-4 in the third quarter to stretch the lead to 37-26.
On the other half of the consolation bracket, Aztec's junior varsity team defeated Bayfield, Colo., 50-46.
Miyamura will play Española Valley in the championship game of the tournament later today.John Livingston can be reached at email@example.com; 505-564-4648. Follow him on Twitter @jlivi2.