KIRTLAND — The Kirtland Central boys basketball team added the District 1-4A tournament title to its regular season crown after putting together one of its best offensive performances of the season.
The Broncos hit 25-of-46 from the field to knock off Farmington High 65-44 on Friday night in Bronco Arena.
"I think we were a little more focused," KCHS head coach John Zecca said. "It's not always easy waiting a week, but overall, we played a pretty good game tonight."
Christian Mackey led the way with 25 points on 9-of-15 shooting and eight rebounds for the Broncos (19-6) in the victory.
"We came out on a mission today," Mackey said. "This is just the first step. Now we're going to work hard for state."
The two teams met for the first time on Feb. 14 in Kirtland. That night, the Scorpions (15-13) came out on fire and opened up a 14-point lead by the end of the first quarter.
This time, it was the Broncos who got off to the hot start, opening the game on an 11-2 run and never relinquishing the lead.
"You have to give them credit. They came out tonight just blazing," FHS head coach Paul Corley said of Kirtland. "They hit a lot of 3s, and Mackey was tough tonight. You hope they don't hit the outside shots, but tonight they were. It's tough to guard."
While Mackey dominated the paint and drew the attention of the Farmington defense, the Bronco shooters took advantage of open 3-pointers, knocking down 8-of-17 from behind the arc, including three 3s apiece from Bernel Miller and Junior Smith.
"Anytime we can start off making 3s early, it opens things up," Zecca said. "They weren't able to double Mackey as much, and when they did, we knocked down the shots."
After starting the second half with a 14-point lead, the Broncos put the game away in the fourth quarter, hitting 7-of-7 from the field to run away with the win.
FHS struggled against the KCHS zone defense most of the game, hitting just 13-of-37 from the field while committing 17 turnovers.
The lone problem for the Broncos in the game was turnovers, too. The Broncos committed 19 themselves.
Reese Foutz added 12 points in the victory for KCHS.
Alex Whiteley and Jared Tschetter each scored 10 points in the loss for FHS.
Both teams will find out Sunday where they'll be seeded in the 4A state playoff bracket.
The Broncos will host a playoff game in the first round, and Zecca believes his team will fall either at the No. 4 or No. 5 seed.
"We haven't reached our goal yet," Zecca said. "It's going to be a tough game no matter who we play."
FHS will open the state tournament on the road in the first round, but Corley isn't too concerned about traveling for the playoffs.
"A lot of teams saw us early, and we're a totally different team now. It seems like we've played a little better on the road than we do at home," he said. "We're really one of the hottest teams in the state, starting at 1-8 and ending up where we are now. I'm so proud of the effort of the kids in the locker room. I told them to put this game behind them because we have to be ready for state."Joshua Perry can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org; 505-564-4577. Follow him on Twitter @jperrysuu.