ALBUQUERQUE — Navajo Prep's girls basketball season came to a close in the 2A quarterfinals.
The No. 4 Lady Eagles fell to No. 5 Laguna Acoma 50-49 on Tuesday night at the Santa Ana Star Center in Rio Rancho.
Prep (23-7) dug an 18-6 hole in the first quarter and was never able to complete a comeback.
"The first quarter is what really hurt us," Prep head coach Rainy Crisp said. "We had to play catch up the rest of the game. We'd always get it to four points or so, but then they'd hit a big shot or make some free throws."
Prep battled back in the second quarter, cutting the Lady Hawks' lead to 30-28 at halftime.
Acoma (24-5) maintained a small advantage through the second half and entered the final quarter with a 41-37 lead.
The Lady Eagles' defense kept the team in the game during the entire fourth, eventually allowing Prep to cut Laguna Acoma's lead to 50-49 with a minute to play.
"Our defense finally started playing," Crisp said. "We got deflections and the press created easy baskets."
Neither team scored again in the final minute, however, as the Lady Hawks escaped with the victory.
"We definitely had our opportunities to win the game," Crisp said. "We just couldn't finish a layup, or we'd turn the ball over. Just a lot of mental mistakes."
Both teams struggled with turnovers in the game. Prep finished with 25, while Laguna Acoma committed 23.
Jasmine Coleman finished with a game-high 19 points for Prep. Matheney Wilson added 16 in the loss.
Lacey Natseway led Laguna Acoma with 17 points in the win.
Prep will lose seven seniors off the roster to graduation.
"The girls did well throughout the season," Crisp said. "We became district champions and worked toward trusting each other more on the court. We accomplished a lot of our goals, just not the final one."
The Lady Hawks will advance to the semifinals and face No. 1 Texico on Thursday for a spot in the 2A championship.Joshua Perry can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org; 505-564-4577. Follow him on Twitter @jperrysuu.