AZTEC — The second round of the Aztec Rumble in the Jungle boys' basketball tournament provided some close games.
Piedra Vista moved to 2-0 in the tournament with a 54-47 win against Bloomfield. The host, Aztec, defeated Class 1A Shiprock Northwest 56-39 in the late game of the tournament to also remain perfect, though the Tigers played their own junior varsity squad in the first round on Thursday.
Piedra Vista will play Bayfield, Colo., in the third round while Aztec will face Bloomfield for the third time this season. Aztec and Bloomfield have split the season series 1-1 so far.
"That will be the rubber game for us and Bloomfield. They beat us earlier this week, so we are going to try and play our best basketball," said Aztec head coach Tony DiNallo.
DiNallo said if both Aztec and Piedra Vista win today, he would likely give the first-place trophy to Piedra Vista because his team played its own junior varsity on Thursday night.
"Piedra Vista had a tough road to go. If they win, I think we give it to them," he said.
PV used solid free-throw shooting down the stretch on Friday to hold off Bloomfield. It was another close game between former high school teammates Adam Huff and Devon Manning, who now coach Piedra Vista and Bloomfield, respectively.
"Bloomfield did a good job of staying in its zone and being patient on offense. We led 20-10 in the second quarter, but we didn't score the last five minutes of the first half," Huff said. "In the fourth quarter, we were 9-of-14 from the foul line. We were 11-for-17 total in the game, so those fourth-quarter points were big."
Troy Dixon led Piedra Vista (8-6) in scoring for a third consecutive game with 20 points. Orion Kaminky scored another 10 points in the PV win.
PV held a 36-27 lead going into the fourth quarter, but Bloomfield hung it the game until the end.
"We know who PV is and what they like to do. We had a game plan going in, and we wanted to control the speed of the game and play our style of basketball," Manning said. "The difference in the game was PV's execution late and their hustle. They seemed to get every loose ball, or they would get offensive rebounds and putbacks at big moments."
Sophomore Christian Chavez led Bloomfield (3-9) with 18 points in the loss.
Aztec (6-8) had no problem taking down Shiprock Northwest (4-8).
"Our bigs did a great job scoring, and our guards did a good job finding them," DiNallo said. "We got blocked shots on defense, which is nice because we have been working hard on help-side defense. We had good help from everybody."
Manning expects another tough game with Aztec tonight, especially coming off a 57-53 win against the Tigers on Tuesday.
"It will be a hardcore, man-to-man and shoots 3s kind of game again," Manning said. "We just have to control how they play defense against us. They are coming out for revenge, so we have to come out strong."
Piedra Vista will play Bayfield High, which fell to Fruita Monument, Colo., 73-70 early on Friday afternoon.
"Bayfield has good size and a big guy inside who is a good player. I talked to Devon Manning, and he said they hit the offensive boards hard. They are bigger than a lot of people, so it will boil down to us executing and knocking down some shots," Huff said.John Livingston can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org; 505-564-4648. Follow him on Twitter @jlivi2.