Local basketball teams hit the road for holiday tournaments

Steven Bortstein
Farmington Daily Times

FARMINGTON — The high school basketball season is entering its second month, and for some local teams, the results have been quite good. 

Other local and area teams have gotten off to a slow start and will be hard-pressed to rebound as the new year approaches.

Here's a glance at how all the San Juan County teams have fared through the first month of the current season.

Class 5A 

Farmington High School's girls and boys basketball teams are a combined 16-0 this season, with another round of tournament action beginning this week for the boys team, which will take part in the Poe Corn Tournament in Roswell. The Scorpions entered the final week of 2021 ranked fourth in the state in Class 5A, according to MaxPreps.

The 8-0 FHS boys trail only Las Cruces, Santa Fe and Volcano Vista in the Class 5A standings.

The Poe Corn Tournament figures to be a good gauge of how the Scorpions rate among some of the state's best teams.

Farmington is one of two teams from San Juan County taking part in the Poe Corn Tournament, with the Scorpions facing Carlsbad and Bloomfield taking on Goddard.

“It’s very helpful, because we never get to play any teams from the northwest,” Goddard head basketball coach Anthony Mestas told the Roswell Daily Record. “There’s no way, a regular-season game, we would travel there or they would travel here.”

The girls team, also competing this week in tournament action in Hobbs, is 8-0 this season and has outscored its opponents by an average of nearly 30 points per game.

The Lady Scorpions won their opening game of the tournament in Hobbs on Monday morning, rolling over Grants 75-33.

The top-ranked team in Class 5A and overall in the state of New Mexico according to Max Preps, the Scorpions are led by senior Kiiyani Anitielu, who is averaging 22 points per game.

Class 5A is also well represented locally by Piedra Vista High School, which finds both its boys and girls teams headed on the road for tournament action.

The Panther girls will compete this week in Phoenix in the Queens of the Court Christmas Classic. The team is 6-2 and is ranked seventh in the state in Class 5A. PV is led by senior Lanae Billy, who has averaged nearly 18 points a game.

Kirtland Central and Navajo Prep girls basketball players battle for a rebound during a game on Tuesday, Dec. 21, 2021, at Kirtland Central High School.

Piedra Vista has also gotten strong contributions from seniors Adreanna Eaton and Doniah Gruber.

The boys team, which is taking part in tournament action in Hobbs this week, enters the final week of the calendar year with a record of 5-4 and is ranked 19th in the state in Class 5A.

Class 4A

Navajo Prep's Orion King lays the ball off the glass over Bloomfield defender Andrew Florez during their first round game of the Marv Sanders Invitational on Thursday, Dec. 16, 2021, in Scorpion Arena at Farmington High School.

The Kirtland Central basketball teams have wrapped up tournament action for the first part of the season with the boys and girls squads owning a combined record of 13-8 

The boys team, led by senior Satchel Hogue and junior Jarvis Mullahon Jr., got off to a slow start but is in the midst of a four-game winning streak, which it will look to extend on Tuesday, Jan. 4 when it visits Thoreau.

The girls team, ranked third in the state in Class 4A, according to MaxPreps, is 6-2 under head coach Devon Manning and is hoping to extend its six-game winning streak on Thursday night at home against Rio Rancho.

Bloomfield High School's boys and girls teams are a combined 8-6 this season. The boys team is slated to compete in tournament action in Roswell this week while the girls team will return to the court when it takes part in tournament action in Hobbs. 

The Bobcat girls, ranked seventh in the state in Class 4A, hasn't played since back-to-back wins over Pojoaque Valley and Los Lunas. Prior to that, they finished third in the Lady Chieftain Invitational Tournament at Shiprock High School.

The Aztec basketball teams have both started the season in the wrong direction, with the boys and girls teams combining for records of 4-17. 

The boys team, with a record of 2-9 this season, will open the new year when it takes part in tournament action in Cuba beginning Friday, Jan. 7

The girls team, which has lost three in a row and is sitting 2-8 this season, will be at home Tuesday, Jan. 4 when it faces Taos.

Class 3A

Navajo Prep's boys and girls teams are a combined 12-7, and the girls team is in pursuit of its third straight state championship. The girls team (6-3 this season) will take part in tournament action this week in the Johnson Center at the University of New Mexico in the Striking Eagle Native American Invitational.

The boys team, 6-4 on the season, will open the new year on Thursday, Jan. 6 when it opens play in the Gallup Invitational.

The Shiprock basketball teams, a combined 6-12 this season, are hoping to get back on the right track.

The Lady Chieftains (2-6) have lost four of their last five games and will be back in action this week during tournament play at Centennial High School in Las Cruces.

The boys team has lost five of its last six games and has a record of 4-6. The Chieftains will be back on the court in 2022 when they host Farmington on Tuesday, Jan. 4.

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