FARMINGTON — The Shiprock Lady Chieftains were dominant again on Saturday, improving their season record to 20-0 in the process.
Shiprock (20-0 overall, 1-0 District 1-3A) continued its impressive 2013-14 season with a 79-34 win in its District 1-3A opener at Thoreau (12-7, 0-1).
"One thing we wanted to make sure we did was make a statement that we will push hard these next few district games," said Shiprock head coach Larenson Henderson.
Taylor Henderson fought through illness to score a team-high 25 points.
"She got out there and really wanted to play. She played great," Larenson Henderson said of his daughter.
Shania Harry scored 14 points for Shiprock, and Tanisha Begay added 11 in the win.
It was Shiprock's first game since Jan. 18. Larenson Henderson said the team came out a little jittery in the first quarter but quickly found a rhythm.
"We are just continuing to prepare for state and working hard on the things we need to improve on. The competition at state is going to be very tough, so we need all the work we can get," Larenson Henderson said. "The girls are learning how to win all the games. We just want to keep striving toward state."
Shiprock will play at Bloomfield (4-17, 0-1) on Thursday.
The Bloomfield Lady Bobcats fell at home to Wingate 48-42 on Saturday. Four Lady Bobcat starters fouled out in the fourth quarter after Bloomfield had taken a one-point lead.
"We did a lot of good things, but fouls went against us," said Bloomfield head coach Tom Adair.
Jasmine Sappington scored 10 points for Bloomfield in the loss.
Bloomfield led by six points after one quarter but rallied to lead by one at halftime. Wingate opened up a seven-point lead going into the fourth quarter, but Bloomfield rallied to take a brief lead.
"It just hurts when four starters are on the bench in the end. The girls fought hard, and Wingate is not a bad team," Adair said. "Wingate shot 20 free throws in the fourth quarter, and that was the difference."
Farmington 53, Kirtland Central 48
The Farmington Lady Scorpions picked up one of their biggest wins in years on Saturday night.
After trailing 16-8 after one quarter, the Lady Scorps (11-10 overall, 1-0 District 1-4A) stormed back to take a 28-27 lead at halftime. Kirtland Central (5-14, 0-1) answered by taking a 44-38 lead going into the final quarter, but Farmington pulled away thanks to free-throw shooting to earn a 53-48 victory.
"What a great feeling. It has probably been 15-plus years I would think since we beat them," said FHS head coach Danny Secrest. "It is a huge confidence builder."
The Lady Scorps shot 19-of-25 from the free-throw line in the game and 7-of-8 in the fourth quarter. Amber Herbert led FHS with 18 points, and she had a 9-of-10 night from the charity stripe.
"We told the girls to just try to drive to the rack and cause havoc in there," Secrest said.
Shayna Carlowe added 11 points for FHS in the win. Makayla Wood also finished in double digits with 10 points. Tanisha Beetso had nine more points for the Lady Scorps, who hit the road to play Aztec next Thursday.
"I know you always want to defend home court in district, but beating Kirtland Central while doing it is still a huge boost," Secrest said. "We still have to go back to work, but it's a great win."
Piedra Vista 72, Aztec 30
The Piedra Vista Lady Panthers won emphatically on Saturday afternoon.
PV defeated Aztec 72-30 in the District 1-4A opener for both teams. PV (13-8, 1-0) was on fire early, taking a 22-6 lead after one quarter.
"We played really well. Unselfish basketball and a lot of assists were key for us, and we hit seven 3-pointers," said PV head coach Joe Reed. "Our district is wide open this year, and we wanted to come out and establish our dominance. We did."
Kaleigh Graham led the way for PV with 20 points. Kieyoomia Benally added 12 more points, and Precious Frank scored 10.
The Lady Panthers were able to play some junior varsity girls in the second half, allowing the young players to get valuable experience.
"We have a ton of seniors, so getting the JV kids some district experience for next year was huge," Reed said.
PV is back in action Thursday night at home against Kirtland Central.
"This district still belongs to Kirtland Central until someone beats them. It is a big game for us," Reed said.John Livingston can be reached at email@example.com; 505-564-4648. Follow him on Twitter @jlivi2.