Local basketball teams prepare for busy tournament slate
FARMINGTON — Several local and area high school basketball teams are headed on the road this weekend for tournaments.
The Chieftain Invitational and Jerry Richardson Invitational will be held at Shiprock High this weekend, while tournaments in Colorado and Arizona and across the state of New Mexico feature some of San Juan County's prep basketball squads.
Here's a look at some matchups from earlier this week as boys and girls squads prepare for busy week on the hard courts.
PIEDRA VISTA 38, Kirtland Central 34
The Piedra Vista girls basketball team opened the 2021-22 season Tuesday with a win on the road over Kirtland Central, narrowly prevailing 38-34.
The Panthers got a big performance from senior Lanae Billy, who scored 12 points in the victory. They were also led by sophomore Christian Smith, who chimed in with seven points, including the victory-sealing free throws in the game's final minute.
"The first game of the season is always a real measuring stick," said Panthers head coach Joe Reed. "There were first game jitters on both sides."
The Broncos were led by seniors Aisha Ramone and Andrea Thomas, who each scored eight points in a losing effort.
The Panthers (1-0) will take part this week in the Gallup Tournament, starting with a first round game against the Americas High School Trail Blazers from El Paso, Tx.
The Broncos (0-1) will be headed out of town this week to participate in the Page (Ariz.) Tournament, where they will open play against Tuba City.
FARMINGTON 76, Bloomfield 46
Seniors Audrey Henderson and Kiyaani Anitielu led the Farmington girls basketball team with 25 points each as the Scorpions rolled to a 76-46 win Tuesday night on the road over Bloomfield High School.
The Scorpions outscored the Bobcats 49-23 heading into the locker room as they improved their record to 2-0 on the season.
Bloomfield (0-1) will begin play this week in the Jerry Richardson Invitational where they will open against Montezuma-Cortez.
Farmington will be home on Tuesday at 7 p.m. to face off with Navajo Prep.
MORIARTY 52, Aztec 30
The Moriarty High School girls basketball team opened up an early, insurmountable lead Wednesday night at home, cruising to a 52-30 win over Aztec in an early-season matchup.
More:Aztec High School basketball teams hoping for brighter future
The Pintos, up 29-11 at the half, improved their record to 2-1 on the season while the Tigers fall to 1-2.
Aztec's girls basketball team will face off with Moriarty again next week, when the Pintos host the Alice King Tournament beginning Friday, Dec. 10.
PIEDRA VISTA 59, Shiprock 40
The Piedra Vista boys basketball team rallied from a two-point halftime deficit, outscoring Shiprock 33-13 in the second half on their way to a 59-40 win on the road in the Chieftains season opener Tuesday night.
Led by seniors John Dekay and Benjamin Hoff, who teamed with junior Brayden Smith for the victory, the Panthers improved to 2-0 on the season.
More:Piedra Vista basketball looking for turnarounds in upcoming season
The Chieftains will be in action this week hosting the Chieftain Invitational, opening play against Navajo Pine. Piedra Vista hits the road this week to take part in the Pueblo County (Colo.) Tournament where they will open play against Pueblo County.
GRANTS 75, Aztec 47
The Grants Pirates have started out their boys basketball season strong, winning each of their first two games, most recently against Aztec Monday by a final of 75-47.
The Pirates, who opened their season last weekend with a win over Bloomfield, edged clear in the second half knock off the Tigers, still looking for their first win in two games this season.
Aztec's boys team heads to Shiprock this weekend and will take part in the Chieftain Invitational with their first matchup against Escalante.
Steve Bortstein can be reached via email at SBortstein@Gannett.com, via Twitter @DTSBortstein or on the phone at (505) 635-2680.