FARMINGTON — The Piedra Vista girls basketball team picked up its third win in three days and emerged to win a tournament title.
The Lady Panthers defeated Albuquerque Academy 40-23 in the large schools' championship game of the New Mexico American Indian Classic on Saturday at the Santa Ana Star Center in Rio Rancho.
PV (7-4) jumped out to a 15-3 lead after the first quarter and controlled the game from there.
"We got better, and we're learning how to take care of the ball," said PV head coach Joe Reed. "Defensively, we were good, and we shot the ball better today."
Kieyoomia Benally led the Lady Panthers with 12 points, including three 3-pointers, against the Lady Chargers (2-6). Rytisha Brown chipped in 10 points in the win.
Brown was named tournament MVP, while Benally earned all-tournament honors.
During the tournament, Reed said his team took some time to attend the educational workshops offered at the event.
"Today, we went to a workshop about financial aid," he said. "The girls had some fun, and it was a good experience for them."
Next for the Lady Panthers will be a matchup with undefeated Shiprock on Tuesday in Farmington.
Reed said it will be important for his team to limit turnovers against the Lady Chieftains' defense.
"We need to handle their pressure and execute," he said. "It comes down to what we give them and if we protect the ball."
Bayfield, Colo., 41, Aztec 33
Aztec fell behind early in the fifth-place game in the Rumble in the Jungle tournament and never recovered.
The Lady Tigers (2-8) scored just seven points in the first half, before eventually falling to the Lady Wolverines (2-4) 41-33.
After halftime, Aztec was unable to mount much of a comeback and entered the fourth quarter trailing 28-20.
Aztec will play next on Tuesday at Bloomfield.