FARMINGTON — The Piedra Vista girls basketball team came up big at the free-throw line in the fourth quarter to escape with a victory.
The Lady Panthers hit 7-of-9 from the line in the final quarter on their way to a 46-44 win against Kirtland Central on Thursday night at the Jerry A. Connor Fieldhouse.
"We were really good from the free-throw line," PV head coach Joe Reed said. "In the past, we haven't always been good. It's been up and down. Some nights we make 80 or 90 percent. Other times, we're at 50 or 60 percent. It's all a mental thing."
Kieyoomia Benally led PV (14-8, 2-0 District 1-4A) with 20 points, and Kaleigh Graham added 15 more in the win.
"We'd like more balance, but we had foul trouble in the first half and it took some of our players out of rhythm," Reed said.
KCHS (5-15, 0-2) hung tough most of the game but costly fouls ended up hurting the Lady Broncos.
"They were too good at the free-throw line, and we were just fouling too much," KCHS coach Rochelle Curry said. "The kids played hard and never backed down. It was nice to see them play a full four quarters."
PV finished 18-of-23 at the free-throw line.
Keeshawna Ockerman led the Lady Broncos with 11 points in the loss.
PV will play Farmington High on Saturday while KCHS will host Aztec.
"First place is on the line. Plus, it's a rivalry game," Reed said. "The girls shouldn't need any extra motivation."
Farmington 45, Aztec 38
The Lady Scorpions picked up a crucial road victory in Aztec.
Amber Herbert scored 13 points, and Tanisha Beetso added 11 as FHS notched the 45-38 win against the Lady Tigers
"It was a great game," FHS head coach Danny Secrest said. "They played hard, and we were just able to match them."
The Lady Scorps (12-10, 2-0 District 1-4A) maintained the lead most of the way but could not put Aztec (4-13, 0-2) out of striking distance.
"We just couldn't put them away. We got up 10 or 11, but then they'd fight back," Secrest said. "We made a couple of critical shots down the stretch, though."
FHS will play PV next on Saturday.
"It's going to be a great matchup," Secrest said.
Shiprock 86, Bloomfield 31
The Lady Chieftains (21-0, 2-0 District 1-3A) had an easy time against the Lady Bobcats (4-18, 0-2) in Bloomfield on Thursday night.
Shania Harry scored 17 points to lead Shiprock, which had four players score in double figures.
"They are finding each other, and they're moving well without the ball," Shiprock head coach Larenson Henderson said. "We're getting a lot of high percentage shots."
Bloomfield head coach Tom Adair said his team struggled with the Lady Chieftains' pressure defense.
"Turnovers hurt us. They pressed pretty much the whole game," Adair said. "I thought we did some good things in the first quarter, but they're really good."
Shaelyn White scored 11 in the loss.
On Saturday, Shiprock will host Wingate, and Bloomfield travels to Thoreau.
Navajo Prep 69, Crownpoint 33
The Lady Eagles (16-5, 9-1 District 1-2A) dominated the opening two quarters and cruised to an easy win against Crownpoint (1-13, 0-7) at the Eagles' Nest.
Prep opened up a 51-15 lead at halftime and eased its way to a 36-point victory with a running clock most of the second half.
"We just came out strong," Prep head coach Rainy Crisp said. "My bench pulled through and kept the tempo up.
Three Lady Eagles finished in double figures in the victory.
Prep will host Zuni on Saturday.
"Zuni is a tough team," Crisp said. "Their post and guards look for each other really well. We have to pick our defense."Joshua Perry can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org; 505-564-4577. Follow him on Twitter @jperrysuu.