Unbeaten Scorpions on a roll after tournament championship

Steven Bortstein
Farmington Daily Times

FARMINGTON — The top-ranked Farmington Scorpions girls basketball team took home a trophy this past weekend, winning a tournament in Albuquerque and remaining unbeaten this season.

Meantime, nearly a half dozen prep basketball squads took part in tournament action across the state over the weekend. 

Here's a recap of what took place for San Juan County teams on the hardcourt.

Girls Basketball

Albuquerque Academy Tournament

The Farmington Scorpions girls basketball team worked their way into the championship game of the Albuquerque Academy Tournament, winning each of their first two games on Thursday and Friday.

On Saturday, the Scorpions kept their overall record unblemished with a 64-46 win over Las Cruces, claiming the championship. Farmington led the game 34-17 at the break and were led to victory by junior Kamalani Anitielu, with 22 points.

Senior Kiiyani Anitielu was named the tournament's Most Valuable Player. Kiiyani scored 10 points in Saturday's championship game and led the Scorpions with 49 points over the three-game series.

In the opener for the Scorpions (6-0) on Thursday, Farmington defeated Organ Mountain by a final of 64-55. On Friday, they reached the championship game after a romping victory over Hope Christian 73-37.

Farmington, currently ranked atop Class 5A in the latest MaxPreps poll, returns to regular season action this week when they visit Aztec on Tuesday night.

Farmington High School girls basketball team poses with championship plaque after winning tournament title, Saturday, Dec. 11, 2021 at Albuquerque Academy.

Al Armendariz Tournament

The Navajo Prep girls basketball team played for the third place title in last weekend's Armendariz Tournament after winning the opening game on Thursday, defeating West Las Vegas by a final of 65-18. 

The Lady Eagles dropped their second round game to Hobbs by a final of 53-26.

Navajo Prep closed out the tournament, running away to a 59-25 victory over Pecos. In the win, the Lady Eagles outscored the Panthers 32-8 in the second half, and improved their overall record this season to 6-2 while claiming the third place trophy.

The Lady Eagles return to action this week when they go on the road to face Escalante on Thursday at 6:30 p.m.

Navajo Prep girls basketball team poses with third-place trophy at Al Armendariz Tournament at Capital High School in Santa Fe, Saturday, Dec. 11, 2021.

Alice King Tournament

The Aztec Tigers girls basketball team lost its opening game of the Alice King Tournament at Moriarty High School, falling to the host team by a final of 49-24.

The Pintos outscored Aztec 21-8 at the end of the first half in the opening game of the tournament.

On Saturday, Aztec lost to Melrose High School by a final of 44-20.

The Tigers (1-4) will be back in action Tuesday night at home to face Farmington. 

Boys Basketball

Al Armendariz Tournament

The Kirtland Central Broncos and Aztec Tigers squared off in a second round consolation bracket game Friday morning at Capital High School in with the Broncos winning the game by a final of 69-54.

The Broncos, with the win over Aztec, moved on to face Grants on Saturday afternoon in the fifth place game, with the Pirates winning that one by a final of 55-52.

Kirtland Central trailed the game by double digits at the halftime break, but rallied and outscored Grants 26-18 In the second half but fell short in the waning minutes.

"We played a horrible first half but gave a gallant effort to comeback in the second half," said Broncos head coach Brian Dowdy. "Classic too little too late."

Kirtland Central (2-6) lost their tournament opener on Thursday to Pecos High School by a final of 67-54 while Aztec dropped their tournament opener to Espanola Valley High by a final of 69-35.

Aztec (2-8) played in the seventh place game on Saturday morning, facing Tohatchi, with the Cougars winning that game 61-47.

The Broncos will be back in regular season action Tuesday at 7 p.m. when they visit Navajo Prep.

Aztec returns to the hardcourt Thursday at 7 p.m. when they host Farmington.

Phil Griego Tournament

The Piedra Vista Panthers won the opening game of the tournament on Thursday played at Cleveland High School, defeating the Volcano Vista junior varsity squad by a final of 65-51.

On Friday, the Panthers took on the host team and were routed by the Storm, 76-24. 

Piedra Vista (5-3) wrapped up tournament play on Saturday, facing Eldorado High in the third place game, losing to the Golden Eagles 64-39.

The Panthers will return to the court when they resume tournament action later this month when they face Hobbs on Monday, Dec. 27 in the opening game of the Hobbs Holiday Tournament.

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