FARMINGTON — Farmington holds bragging rights as the top boys basketball team in the city for one more year after the Scorpions toppled crosstown rival Piedra Vista 52-38 tonight at the Jerry A. Conner Fieldhouse.
The win over the Panthers gave the Scorps victories in both meetings this year. The other win came during the championship game of Farmington’s Marv Sanders Invitational when the Scorps beat PV 44-37 on Dec. 10.
“The kids enjoy it, especially our seniors. They’ve battled the other seniors at PV for a lot of years, and to get two wins from PV this year was special for them,” Farmington coach Paul Corley said. “We don’t have to see them again for another whole year, so we get to be the kings of the city this year.”
The game started a bit slow for both teams.
PV’s defense kept Farmington in check in the first half, holding the Scorps to just 18 points at halftime.
The low scoring was exactly what the Panthers needed, as they couldn’t get anything to fall, scoring a mere 7 points in the first half.
“I think the defense was good the whole game,” PV coach Devon Manning said. “The effort overall, not just the defense, but the hustle and everything was outstanding for us tonight.”
Farmington started the third quarter well, going on a 7-0 run over the first 1:20 of the quarter to push its lead to 25-7.
But after the quick burst, the Scorps fell silent, scoring 3 points the rest of the quarter.
“I think some of the issue was I did a poor job of coaching,” Corley said of the third quarter. “I rotated some kids in, and we had a bad lineup out there. That’s my fault,” Corley said. “I didn’t have the right combination out there.”
The Panthers took advantage of Farmington’s struggles and cut the deficit to 28-22 heading to the fourth quarter behind Manuelito Abeyta, who came off the bench to score 7 points in the quarter, and Brady Brown, who knocked down a pair of 3-pointers in the quarter.
Abeyta and Brown kept PV going to start the fourth. Abeyta scored on PV’s first possession, then Brown came up with a steal on the ensuing Farmington inbound that led to a Jalen Woods 3 to bring the Panthers within 1 point at 28-27.
On PV’s next possession, Brown drew a foul and connected on both free throws to make it 29-28, his team’s first lead of the game, with 6:52 remaining.
Trailing for the first time seemed to wake up the Scorps. Regaining their composure and getting a boost from senior guard Nick Granger, who scored all 10 of his points in the final quarter, the Scorps began to pull away from PV.
With Farmington back on track, the Panthers couldn’t keep up with the Scorps’ newfound intensity.
“I probably should have subbed some kids a little more in the fourth quarter, but I was trying to ride the five guys who got us the lead,” Manning said. “That was a mistake on my part.”
David Riley led Farmington with 15 points. Sol Rascon added 14 in the win.
Abeyta and Brown paced PV with 13 points each.
PV will play at Kirtland Central (7-6) on Friday.
Farmington will travel to Albuquerque to face St. Pius X (7-5) on Saturday.
Karl Schneider is the sports editor for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4648.