BLOOMFIELD — Troy Dixon caught fire when Piedra Vista needed it most to lead the Panthers to an overtime win.
Dixon, a PV junior, scored 19 of his game-high 25 points in the second half, including all 10 of the Piedra Vista's points in overtime as the Panthers escaped Bloomfield with a 58-54 victory Friday night at Bobcat Gym.
"I just got to keep shooting. That's what my coach tells me. Eventually they'll start falling," said Dixon, who hit four 3-pointers after halftime. "My coach gave me the green light this season."
The Bobcats (4-15) controlled most of the first half, using a 14-2 run to open up a seven-point lead late in the second quarter before PV trimmed the deficit to 23-20 heading into halftime.
"We can look at the last two minutes of the second quarter. We're up seven with the ball and they end up scoring the last four points of the quarter," Bloomfield head coach Devon Manning said.
The Panthers (11-8) jumped Bloomfield out of the locker room with a 7-0 run in the opening 1:30 of the third quarter on their way to a 43-37 lead heading to the fourth.
Bloomfield's defense stepped up in the fourth quarter, holding PV without a point until the 2:05 mark to regain a 48-45 lead, but Dixon hit his third 3-pointer of the half with 50 seconds left to tie the game and eventually force overtime.
"Our guys responded well, but our inexperience started showing up," Manning said. "The only way for us to get experience is to keep getting in that situation."
PV had a chance in the final seconds of regulation to pull out the victory after Orion Kaminky stole the ball with four seconds left. Kaminky raced down the floor and banked in a runner in the paint, but the shot came just after the buzzer sounded.
Dixon hit a 3-pointer early in overtime to give PV a 51-48 lead, and the Panthers led for the remainder of the contest.
"Bloomfield needed a win, and they came out firing on all cylinders," PV head coach Adam Huff said. "I think this will do more for us later in the year."
Alonzo Araiza added 13 points on 5-of-9 shooting for PV in the win.
Malachi Pablo led Bloomfield with 22 points on 8-of-14 shooting from the field in the loss. Joseph Deherrera added 11 for the Bobcats.
"If he plays well, then we play well," Manning said of Pablo.
This was PV's second victory against the Bobcats this season after defeating them 54-47 on Jan. 10 at the Rumble in the Jungle tournament.
Both teams have completed their non-district schedules and will look ahead to the all-important district season next week.
Piedra Vista will open with Aztec on Friday.
"It's going to be a tough race. Kirtland is playing great. Farmington is playing really well, and Aztec's started to play well," Huff said. "I think we're starting to play to our potential."
Bloomfield will face Wingate on the road Friday night.
St. Pius X 71, Kirtland Central 44
The Kirtland Central Lady Broncos fought with all they had for one half in Albuquerque, but fatigue kicked in during the second half of a blowout loss.
Two days after their coach, Kevin Holman, passed away at the age of 49 after a battle with thyroid cancer, the Lady Broncos gave the No. 2-ranked team in Class 4A a tough game. KCHS (5-13) trailed just 32-30 at halftime to the Lady Sartans (13-3), but eventually fell 71-44.
"With what the kids are going through, I think they were just a bit tired," said Kirtland Central assistant coach Rochelle Curry. "What can you do? These kids are young and they are going through a lot."
Keeshawna Ockerman led Kirtland Central with 18 points in the loss.
The Lady Broncos went down big early but chipped away to trail just 18-17 after one quarter.
The third quarter is when St. Pius X established a lead it wouldn't relinquish.
"The kids were playing pretty hard. They got down right off the bat but fought back in the first. We stayed with them neck-and-neck in the second quarter," Curry said. "We just didn't come out strong in the third."
Kirtland Central will have some time off before opening District 1-4A play at Farmington on Feb. 1.
Aztec 42, Bloomfield 37
After a week off, the Aztec Lady Tigers earned a home victory on Friday night.
Aztec (4-10) defeated Bloomfield 42-37 inside Lillywhite Gymnasium.
"We are trying to get into a groove before district. It was close throughout. We just played as a team and maintained our focus," Aztec head coach Robert McCaskill said after the win.
Morgan Smith led Aztec with 16 points in the victory.
The Lady Tigers led Bloomfield (3-15) by eight points after one quarter, but the Lady Bobcats fought back into the game to trail just 19-17 at halftime.
Bloomfield plays again this afternoon against Dulce. Aztec is back in action on Tuesday on the road at Bayfield, Colo.