FARMINGTON — For the second time in a week, St. Pius X found a way to grind out a victory against the Farmington High boys basketball team.
The Sartans (9-5) used an 8-0 run at the start of the second quarter to build a lead they would never relinquish on their way to a 44-36 victory against the Scorpions on Saturday at Farmington High.
"They really took control in the second quarter," said FHS head coach Paul Corley. "We were a little tired guarding them. About midway through the third, we looked really fatigued. Defensively, we started lagging and fouling."
A day after the Scorpions (8-10) battled back to beat Del Norte, FHS didn't have enough energy to mount another come-from-behind win.
The Sartans hit 16-of-20 free throws, including 8-of-10 in the fourth quarter to stymie any FHS comeback attempt. The Scorps attempted just six free throws, making three.
"Give Pius kudos. They execute their stuff and are well coached," Corley said.
St. Pius head coach Damian Segura thought his team learned from a tight 39-37 win against the Scorps on Jan. 11 in the final of the Gallup Invite.
"We understood them a little bit better," Segura said. "The first time, we were kind of just playing them on the fly. We knew their tendencies a little bit better this time."
The Scorps opened the game with an 11-9 lead after the first, but FHS went on a four-minute scoring drought to start the second quarter, allowing the Sartans to take a 17-11 advantage.
St. Pius managed to keep a five- to 10-point cushion the entire second half to come out with the win.
"I honestly think these are two of the best defensive teams in 4A," Segura said. "I think we got on a defensive run in the second quarter. I think you can describe both of our teams as offensively challenged at times, but I thought our kids did a good job of getting consecutive stops and staying tough against a good team."
Ray Reyes hit 8-of-9 free throws for the Sartans on his way to a game-high 14 points.
Kyle Reynolds, Max Piñon and Alex Whiteley each scored 8 points in the loss for FHS.
The Scorps will return to action on Tuesday at Bloomfield.
FHS already owns a win against Bloomfield as they defeated the Bobcats 58-37 on Jan. 14
"We've got to put this behind us and keep on truckin'. We've got a lot of games to play," Corley said. "It's always tough the second time. We'll have a good hard practice Monday and remind them that Bloomfield may be a little down, but they'll come to battle."