FARMINGTON — After a perfect regular season, the Shiprock girls basketball team was awarded the No. 1 seed in the 3A state playoff bracket by the New Mexico Activities Association selection committee on Sunday.
"We're really excited and this just shows the girls that if you work hard, you'll be rewarded," Shiprock girls head coach Larenson Henderson said.
The Lady Chieftains (26-0) will host No. 16 seed Taos (5-22) at the Chieftain Pit on Friday.
The Lady Chiefs dominated District 1-3A this season, sweeping the regular season and tournament titles.
Taos finished in last place in District 3-2A, going winless in district play.
Shiprock was seeded ahead of two-time defending champion Lovington, who was placed in the bracket as the No. 2 seed.
"I'm a little surprised by that," Henderson said. "I just wasn't sure how they'd compare us. I'm really excited about the prospect of playing them for the title though. I don't think Lovington has seen a team like us before."
The Shiprock boys were seeded No. 10 and will travel to No. 7 Sandia Prep (13-14).
The Chieftains (19-10) lost the District 1-3A tiebreaker at Kirtland Central on Feb. 24 to Wingate, placing them behind the No. 8 Bears in the bracket and forcing them to hit the road for the opening round.
"We'll take our chances," Shiprock boys head coach Chester H. Atcitty Jr.
The Sundevils finished in third place in District 5-3A behind No. 1 Hope Christian and No. 2 St. Michael's.
In 4A, the Kirtland Central boys team will host a first round matchup after being seeded No. 5.
The Broncos (19-6) will welcome No. 12 Artesia to Kirtland on Saturday.
"That's kind of where we thought we'd be," KCHS boys head coach John Zecca said.
The Bulldogs (12-15) were winless against No. 1 Roswell and No. 6 Goddard in District 4-4A play.
"We didn't play them, but we did see them at the Gallup tournament," Zecca said of Artesia. "They're athletic and like to press. We've had some tough matchups with teams like that, but we'll have a whole week to prepare."
The Broncos' focus since the start of the season was to make it to The Pit and with the home game in the opening round, Zecca believes his team is positioned to get there.
"Our goal is to get to The Pit," Zecca said. "Christian (Mackey) is the only one who's had that experience and he's been telling the guys how cool it is. I really want these boys to experience that with most of them being seniors."
Farmington High drew the No. 10 seed and a rematch with No. 7 Albuquerque Academy.
The Scorpions (15-13) defeated Academy (15-11) 51-37 on Dec. 7, 2013, the same day FHS won the 4A state football title.
The two schools also squared off in the first round in 2013, with then No. 5 Academy defeating the No. 12 seed Scorps.
"We're excited about it," FHS head coach Paul Corley. "We're going upwards and I feel we're a better team now then we were then, but I'm sure they are too."
The Chargers took second in District 5-4A behind No. 3 St. Pius X.
Piedra Vista (14-12) was seeded No. 13 and will face No. 4 Centennial (19-7).
"It's less then what we wanted, but right in the area we expected to be," PV boys head coach Adam Huff said. "It's going to be a game between two young teams, and we'll see whose young guys step up."
The Hawks swept the District 3-4A regular season and tournament titles.
In the girls bracket, Piedra Vista (18-9) earned the right to host a first-round game after being seeded No. 8.
The Lady Panthers will take on a familiar opponent in No. 9 Miyamura.
PV faced the Lady Patriots (16-12) in Gallup on Jan. 9, dropping the matchup 44-32.
"It was a close game that could have gone either way. We just ended up fouling at the end," PV girls head coach Joe Reed said. "One of our goals coming into the season was to make it to The Pit, and it's set up for us."
Miyamura finished fourth in District 6-4A behind No. 1 Los Lunas, No. 4 Gallup and No. 6 Valencia.
Kirtland Central (10-18) was given the No. 16 seed and will face 4A's top seed Los Lunas (24-4) in the first round.
The defending 4A champion Lady Tigers defeated the Lady Broncos 76-47 on Feb. 11.
"Los Lunas in No. 1 for a reason," KCHS girls coach Rochelle Curry said. "We'll see what we can do to adjust defensively."
Los Lunas swept through District 6-4A without dropping a game on its way to the regular season and tournament titles.
In 2A, the Navajo Prep girls team was awarded the No. 4 seed and will host No. 13 Mesa Vista in the first round.
The Lady Eagles (22-6) swept the District 1-2A regular season and tournament titles, while the Lady Trojans (16-10) placed second in District 7-2A behind Cuba.
Prep head coach Rainy Crisp said her team was seeded about where she expected by the committee and the Lady Eagles will get to work on a game plan for Mesa Vista on Monday.
"We're hoping to get info on them this week," Crisp said. "The thing is we just need to keep playing the type of basketball we're capable of playing.
The Shiprock Northwest boys team will make its first postseason appearance in school history.
The Falcons (12-10) will be the No. 15 seed after winning the District 6-1A regular season title.
Shiprock NW will play No. 2 seed Magdalena (28-1), who swept the District 2-1A regular season and tournament title.Joshua Perry can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org; 505-564-4577. Follow him on Twitter @jperrysuu.