Scorpions and Panthers basketball teams pick up breakout victories

Steven Bortstein
Farmington Daily Times

KIRTLAND — The Farmington Scorpions boys and girls basketball teams were out to make a statement Tuesday night.

Meantime, the Bloomfield Bobcats girls basketball team keeps on rolling, winning for the fourth time in the last six nights.

Here's a look back at a busy slate of high school basketball across the county.

Boys Basketball

FARMINGTON 62, Kirtland Central 47

Led by sophomore Cody Vassar-Steen's 22 points, the Farmington Scorpions earned a big early season road win, knocking off Kirtland Central 62-47 Tuesday night at Bronco Arena.

The Scorpions, playing in only their second game of the season, were also led by strong individual performances by senior Cayden Yazzie, who scored 16 points on the night as well as sophomore Trel Griego, who scored 12 in the win.

"We played a little sloppy, but you have to give credit to Kirtland Central for hustling all over the floor," said Scorpions head coach Larry Chitty after the game. "Tonight was another step of growth for us."

The Scorpions went into the locker room leading 34-24 at halftime, thanks mainly to their ability to drive the lane offensively, forcing the Broncos into some early foul trouble which resulted in trips to the free throw line on multiple occasions. 

Farmington High School's Cody Vassar-Steen looks to the basket as he works his way past Kirtland Central's Jarvis Mullahon, Jr. during a game at Bronco Arena on Tuesday, Dec. 7, 2021

Farmington (2-0) got solid defensive play from seniors Patrick Shay and Marcos Araiza, who forced the Broncos to take some off-balance shots.

Kirtland Central tried to make up some ground in the second half, as senior Kragen Cadman led the Broncos with 16 points on the night, but failed to make up any ground, losing for the fourth time in their first five games of the season.

The Broncos will look to bounce back this week when they head to Santa Fe to take part in the Armendariz Basketball Tournament at Capital High School.

Farmington will be home on Tuesday night at 7 p.m. when they face Bloomfield.

PIEDRA VISTA 46, Bayfield 33

The Piedra Vista Panthers improved their early season record to 4-2 after a convincing 46-33 win over Bayfield Tuesday night in the Jerry A. Conner Fieldhouse at Piedra Vista High School.

The Panthers have won two of their last three games and will look to keep their positive momentum going later this week when they open tournament play in Rio Rancho to take part in the Cleveland Storm Tournament.

TAOS 61, Aztec 21

Daemon Ely, Anthony Padilla and Elden Torres did most of the damage Tuesday night as the Taos Tigers cruised to a 61-21 home victory over Aztec.

Ely scored 14 points in the win, while Padilla and Torres combined for 21 on the night as Taos opened the game on a 16-0 run, eventually going into the locker room with a 35-7 lead at halftime.

Taos (3-2) has won two in a row while Aztec has lost two in a row and fall to 2-5 on the season.

Aztec will look to get back on course when they open play Thursday in the Armendariz Tournament at Capital High School.

Girls Basketball

FARMINGTON 68, Navajo Prep 32

The Farmington Scorpions girls basketball team remained unbeaten after three games this season, blowing out previously unbeaten Navajo Prep by a final of 68-32 Tuesday night at Scorpion Arena.

Led by senior Kiiyani Anitielu with 14 points, as well as junior Kamalani Anitielu (12 points) and sophomore Kapiolani Anitielu's nine points, the Scorpions have won each of their three games this season by double digits and have won their last pair by a combined margin of 66 points.

Farmington's Kiiyani Anitielu drives toward the basket for a layup against Piedra Vista on Monday, April 12, 2021, at Jerry A. Conner Fieldhouse in Farmington.

Navajo Prep, the defending Class 3A state champions, came into the game having won each of their first four games this season, most recently defeating Whitehorse, Utah to win the Jerry Richardson Lady Chieftain Invitational at Shiprock High School.

The Eagles will look to bounce back this week when they take part in the Armendariz Tournament at Capital High School.

Farmington will face off with unbeaten Organ Mountain (4-0) on Thursday when they open play in the Albuquerque Academy Tournament.

PIEDRA VISTA 67, Shiprock 25

Seniors Adreanna Eaton, Lanae Billy and Doniah Gruber all had big nights as the Piedra Vista girls basketball team cruised to a 67-25 win Tuesday night on the road over the Shiprock Chieftains. 

Eaton led the Panthers with 25 points, while Billy (20 points) and Gruber (12 points) allowed Piedra Vista to open up on the Chieftains from the start, leading 20-5 after the first quarter and 43-13 at the end of the half.

Coming into Tuesday's game off their only loss of the season, a 57-30 defeat to Gallup in last weekend's championship contest in the Gallup Invitational, the Panthers (4-1) will be back in action Monday at home against Miyamura.

Shiprock (1-5) has lost three in a row and will look to turn things around when they host Newcomb on Tuesday night.

BLOOMFIELD 48, Los Lunas 37

Playing for the fifth time in six days, the Bloomfield Bobcats girls basketball team earned their third straight win Tuesday night, knocking off Los Lunas 48-37 on the road at Los Lunas High School.

Led by junior Millie Yazzie's 12 points as well as from senior Jerona Murphy, scoring nine points in the victory, the Bobcats improve to 4-2 on the season.

The loss drops the Tigers to 0-6 on the season.

Bloomfield's girls basketball team will be back in game action later this month, when they face Belen in the Goddard Holiday Tournament, starting Tuesday, Dec. 28.

KIRTLAND CENTRAL 72, Grants 46

The Kirtland Central girls basketball team earned their second consecutive win Tuesday night, easily finishing off Grants by a final of 72-46 at Grants High School.

The Broncos (3-2) will try and extend their current win streak at home Thursday night when they face Tohatchi at 7 p.m.

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