FARMINGTON — Shiprock is moving on to the 3A quarterfinals.
The Chieftains pulled off a road victory against Sandia Prep 55-50 in the first round of the 3A boys basketball playoffs on Saturday in Albuquerque.
Despite having to travel, the Shiprock fans made sure the game had a home atmosphere for the Chieftains.
"It felt like it was about 75 to 80 percent of our crowd in the gym, and it was loud," Shiprock head coach Chester H. Atcitty said.
The Chieftains (19-10) dug an early hole, falling behind the Sundevils 23-11 in the first half before coming back to trim the Prep (13-15) lead to four by halftime.
"The boys hung in there and were mentally tough," Atcitty said.
After entering the final quarter trailing by two points, Shiprock gained the advantage in the middle of the quarter and hit free throws down the stretch to seal the win.
"We toughened up on the defensive side," Atcitty said.
Hiram Gleason scored 17 to lead the Chieftains, while Justin Begay and Deron Johnson each scored 13 points.
Shiprock will face No. 2 St. Michael's on Wednesday at the Santa Ana Star Center in Rio Rancho.
No. 7 Albuquerque Academy 68, No. 10 Farmington 59
Farmington High's season came to a close with a first-round loss to Albuquerque Academy.
The Chargers (16-11) outscored the Scorpions 19-9 in the third quarter to build a lead that FHS was unable to come back from.
"They switched to a 2-3 zone in the quarter and that gave us some trouble," FHS head coach Paul Corley said.
The Scorps battled Academy throughout the first half, trailing just 27-26 after two quarters.
FHS (15-14) then cut the Academy lead to four points late in the fourth quarter before the Chargers locked up the win at the free-throw line.
Jared Tschetter scored 14 points, while Kyle Reynolds added 13 in the loss.
FHS graduates six seniors off the roster.
"The kids battled and were coachable, that's all I can ask for," Corley said. "We have a good core coming back. We just need to take that next step and get to The Pit."
No. 4 Centennial 74, No. 13 Piedra Vista 32
The Panthers (14-13) had their season come to a disappointing end with a blowout loss to Centennial in Las Cruces.
"We just rushed a few 3s, and they went out and started their break off the long rebounds," PV head coach Adam Huff said.
The Panthers hung tough in the first quarter, trailing 11-7, before Centennial pushed the lead to 28-17 by half.
PV shot 3-of-11 from the free-throw line in the first half to allow the Hawks some breathing room.
"The reason they were up was missed free throws and put backs," Huff said. "Then we allowed them to get out and run, and some kids just made some incredible shots."
The Hawks then scored 27 straight points to open the second half and put the Panthers away.
Dillon Mason led PV with 13 points in the loss.
The Panthers will graduate four seniors off the roster.
"They've always played hard and put forth the effort. It's tough for them to end on a note like this," Huff said.
Centennial (21-7) advances to face No. 5 Kirtland Central in the quarterfinals.Joshua Perry can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org; 505-564-4577. Follow him on Twitter @jperrysuu.