Bloomfield, Navajo Prep basketball teams earn early season wins

Steven Bortstein
Farmington Daily Times

AZTEC — Early season victories by Bloomfield's girls and boys basketball teams may bode for a promising future for both squads moving forward.

Meantime, Navajo Prep's boys hoops team got a big boost from one of its top players in a romping win on the road.

Here's a look back at a busy Monday night in high school basketball.

Boys Basketball

NAVAJO PREP 65, Aztec 30

After playing a relatively even first quarter Monday night when visiting Aztec High School's Lillywhite Gym, the Navajo Prep boys basketball team was in need of a boost.

That shot in the arm came from senior Dontrelle Denetso, who took over in the second quarter with a pair of high-profile slam dunks and some aggressive defense as the Eagles pulled away for a 65-30 win over the Tigers.

More:Navajo Prep, Shiprock earn tournament victories in busy prep basketball weekend

"He really did fire up the guys," said head coach Matt Melvin on Denetso's effort. "We got the ball inside more and played better on defense with more intensity."

The Eagles were looking to bounce back after a tough loss in the Chieftain Invitational just two nights earlier when Shiprock's Jalen Wero hit a buzzer-beater to break a tie and win the championship game 46-44 Saturday at Shiprock High School.

Navajo Prep's Dontrelle Denetso goes high to finish a slam dunk over Aztec's Aidan Lee in the second quarter of the Eagles 65-30 win over the Tigers, Monday, Dec. 6, 2021 in Lillywhite Gym at Aztec High School.

Playing just their fourth game of the season, Navajo Prep is still very much a work in progress. 

"We're far from perfect, but we're going in the right direction," Melvin said.

Aztec (2-4) stayed close to Navajo Prep early in the game, getting strong efforts from sophomore Landan Frost and senior Aidan Lee.

As the first half progressed however, the size of the Eagles appeared to have an impact, as Navajo Prep was pulling down rebounds and found opportunities to create points quickly.

Navajo Prep (3-1) went into the locker room at the break leading 30-17 and were never seriously threatened the rest of the way.

The Eagles will be back in action Saturday at home looking to avenge their last-second loss to Shiprock when they face the Chieftains at 4 p.m.

Aztec's Isaiah Parra attempts a shot around Navajo Prep defenders during a game inside Lillywhite Gym at Aztec High School on Monday, Dec. 6, 2021

Aztec will look to bounce back Tuesday at 6 p.m. when they visit Taos.

BLOOMFIELD 60, Pojoaque Valley 47

Getting big contributions from seniors Aaron Watchman and Jeremiah Sandoval, the Bloomfield Bobcats outscored Pojoaque Valley 20-8 in the second quarter and never trailed on their way to a convincing victory Monday night on the road at Pojoaque Valley High School.

Playing in just their second game of the season, the Bobcats bounced back nicely after a season-opening loss Nov. 23 to Grants.

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"The improvement from last week to this week is tremendous," said coach Randy Crockett after the win. "We did a better job controlling the glass and (Sandoval and Watchman) really had good games to lead us."

Bloomfield (1-1) will be back in action Thursday at 7 p.m. at Bobcat Arena when they face Sandia Prep.

Girls Basketball

BLOOMFIELD 52, Pojoaque Valley 27

Playing their fourth game in five nights, the Bloomfield girls basketball team was up to the task, easily beating Pojoaque Valley at home on Monday night.

Led by junior Millie Yazzie's 13 points and a strong night off the glass from sophomore Aliya Quintana, the Bobcats dominated much of the night as they earned their second straight win.

"I played all my kids during the game and most of them scored," said head coach Tom Adair. "(Quintana) had a really big night with over 12 rebounds."

More:Aztec High School basketball teams hoping for brighter future

Sophomore Danielle Johnson also had a big evening for the Bobcats, handing out nearly a dozen assists in the winning effort. 

Bloomfield was coming into Monday night's game off a third place finish in the Jerry Richardson Lady Chieftain Invitational at Shiprock High School, defeating the Chieftains 44-32, winning two of three games in the tournament.

The Bobcats (3-2) won't have much time to celebrate this win, as they'll be back in action Tuesday night on the road against winless Los Lunas. 

Steve Bortstein can be reached via email at SBortstein@Gannett.com, via Twitter @DTSBortstein or on the phone at (505) 635-2680.