Basketball tournaments wrap up busy holiday weekend

Farmington's girls team remains unbeaten after winning championship at Hobbs Holiday Classic, Navajo Prep girls team cruises to Striking Eagle Native American Invitational title in Albuquerque.

Steven Bortstein
Farmington Daily Times

FARMINGTON — High school basketball tournament action continued for several local teams over the holiday week.

Here's a look at tournament action for some San Juan County teams. More updates on tournament action can be found online at

Boys basketball

Poe Corn Tournament

Farmington's boys basketball team secured the third-place trophy in the Poe Corn Tournament with a hard-fought 50-47 victory Thursday afternoon over Los Alamos.

Cody Vassar-Steen led the Scorpions (10-1) with 18 points in the victory, while Cayden Yazzie sealed the deal with some clutch free throws down the stretch to secure the win.

"We played a little sloppy but it was great to see the boys composure down the stretch of a close game," said Farmington coach Larry-Don Chitty. "We've only had a couple of those this season. We also found some areas we're going to have to improve on."

One day after suffering its first loss of the season, the Farmington boys basketball team bounced back in a big way, rolling over Bloomfield 68-32 Wednesday in the consolation bracket second round of the Poe Corn Tournament.

The Scorpions  got a big performance from leading scorer Cayden Yazzie, who led the team with 15 points. Jevon Smith had 10 points, and Lander Willie added nine points.

"It was a good bounce-back game," Scorpions coach Larry-Don Chitty said. "The boys played extremely well. Our defense played aggressively, and we were much more patient on offense."

Farmington was scheduled to play for the consolation trophy at 12:30 p.m. Thursday against Los Alamos.

The Scorpions suffered their first loss of the season Tuesday in the tournament's opening round, falling to Carlsbad 56-35 at Roswell High School.

Farmington came into the tournament as the fourth-ranked teams in the state, but struggled throughout much of the game against the Cavemen, who came into the tournament ranked eighth in the state.

"We struggled against their size and their matchup zone," Chitty said. "Carlsbad played very well, and our defense was fairly solid."

The Scorps fell behind early and trailed at the break by a score of 29-13. They were led in scoring by Yazzie, who had 13 points.

Bloomfield High School's Jeremiah Sandoval and Navajo Prep's Dontrelle Denetso go up for the opening tip of their first game of the Marv Sanders Invitational Tournament, Thursday, Dec. 16 in the Scorpion Arena at Farmington High School.

Bloomfield High School's boys basketball team lost a tough opening-round contest Tuesday night in the Poe Corn Tournament, getting outscored 40-28 in the second half and losing to Goddard 55-45.

The Rockets were led in scoring by senior Noah Reese, who had 15 points in the win. Junior Jerrick Mendoza scored eight points as Goddard moved on in the tournament to face Carlsbad.

The Bobcats fell to 4-6 on the season.

More:A wish list for San Juan County's sports scene in 2022

Hobbs Holiday Tournament

The Piedra Vista boys basketball team fell behind quickly and never recovered, losing its opening-round matchup 89-34 against tournament host Hobbs.

With the victory, the Eagles moved on to a second-round game Tuesday against Montwood High out of El Paso, Texas, and defeated the Rams 75-45.  

In the consolation bracket, the Panthers defeated Pojoaque Valley Tuesday night 40-36 before losing to Mayfield 55-30 in the fifth-place game on Wednesday afternoon.

PV will be back in action at 7 p.m. Tuesday when it goes on the road to face Miyamura.

Girls basketball

Hobbs Holiday Tournament

The Farmington Scorpions girls basketball team poses with the championship trophy after winning the Hobbs Holiday Tournament, Wednesday, Dec. 29, 2021 at Hobbs High School.

The Farmington High girls basketball team capped a successful tournament with a dramatic 61-57 win Wednesday night over tournament host Hobbs in the championship game.

Trailing by one point at halftime, the Scorpions outscored the Eagles 21-12 in the third quarter, then held off a fourth-quarter rally to preserve the win and maintain their perfect season.

Farmington improved to 10-0 and will return home to face Kirtland Central at 7 p.m. Tuesday.

The Farmington girls basketball squad advanced to the finals after knocking off Mayfield 61-44 in the second round.

The Scorpions were led by Kiiyani Anitielu, who scored 26 points in the second-round win. Komalani Anitielu scored 11 points, while Audrey Henderson scored eight points.

"It was a high-paced game," FHS coach Larenson Henderson said. "Both teams shot the ball well." 

Farmington easily won its first-round game of the tournament, beating Grants on Monday 75-33. The Eagles advanced to the finals with victories over Pebble Hills High out of El Paso, Texas, by a 66-41 score, followed by a win over the Tucson (Arizona) Badgers, 62-41.

Queens of the Court Tournament 

After demolishing its competition in the first two games, Piedra Vista High's girls basketball team lost the championship game Wednesday night to Fairfax High, 45-38.

The Stampede, out of Laveen, Arizona, were unbeaten coming into the finals.

The Panthers advanced to the finals of the Phoenix Queens of the Court Tournament after back-to-back victories on Monday and Tuesday.

In the first round, PV rolled over South Mountain (Arizona) 72-6.

More:2021 Sports Year In Review

In second-round action on Tuesday, Piedra Vista was even more dominant, beating the Browne (Arizona) Bruins by a final of 82-4.

The Panthers (8-3) will head home and return to action Tuesday night when they host Los Lunas.

Striking Eagle Native American Invitational

The Navajo Prep girls basketball team poses with the championship trophy after winning the Striking Eagle Native American Invitational finals over Santa Fe Indian School, Thursday, Dec. 30, 2021 in the Johnson Center at the University of New Mexico.

The Navajo Prep girls basketball team earned a tournament championship this past weekend, knocking Santa Fe Indian School by a final of 61-49 to win the Striking Eagle Native American Invitational Thursday night in the Johnson Center at the University of New Mexico.

The Lady Eagles were led by tournament Most Valuable Player Aniya Johnson as well as All-Tournament selections Alexis Sandoval and Amber Garcia.

Head coach Rainy Crisp also received the SENAI Coach of the Year Award.

The Lady Eagles advanced to the championship game with a 59-36 win over Whitehorse High School out of Montezuma Creek, Utah, Wednesday night.

The Lady Eagles were coming off a first-round 63-33 win on Tuesday over Cuba in the tournament.

More:Navajo Prep Lady Eagles rout Shiprock in season opener

Navajo Prep (9-3), are two-time defending Class 3A champions and will open district play on Monday, Jan. 10 when they host Zuni.

LCPS Holiday Hoopla

The Shiprock girls basketball team won the seventh-place game 61-54 against Manzano on Wednesday morning at the Las Cruces Holiday Hoopla Tournament. 

The Lady Chieftains lost their first two games of the tournament, falling to the host team 63-22 on Monday, then losing in the consolation bracket to Deming, 48-44, on Tuesday.

The Shiprock girls team (3-8) will be back in action at 7 p.m. Monday when it faces Zuni.

Goddard Holiday Tournament

The Bloomfield girls basketball team lost a tough tournament finale 29-26 to Miyamura in Thursday's third-place game of the Goddard Holiday Tournament.

Danielle Johnson scored 16 points for the Lady Bobcats, but came up short on a potential game-tying three-pointer in the final seconds of the contest. 

The Bobcats rallied from a 14-point deficit midway through the fourth quarter but the rally came up empty as Miyamura made the necessary free throws to secure the win. 

"We gave ourselves a chance to win," said Bobcats coach Tom Adair.

The Bobcats end the calendar year with a record of 5-4 and will be back on the court Tuesday night at home against Valencia. 

The Bloomfield girls basketball team fell short in its second-round game of the Goddard Holiday Tournament, losing to the host team 53-45 on Wednesday.

Sophomore Danielle Johnson led the Bobcats with 12 points but could not overcome some late foul trouble in a game that saw the teams swap the lead several times.

After trailing by as many as 14 points in the second quarter, Bloomfield rallied and had the lead in the fourth quarter but got into foul trouble, allowing the Rockets to reclaim the lead and eventually the win.

"Goddard has a very good team. They have played a very tough schedule, and we gave ourselves a chance to win," Bloomfield coach Tom Adair said.

The Bloomfield girls basketball team opened play in the Goddard Holiday Tournament with a 54-48 win over Belen on Tuesday.

Sophomore Danielle Johnson led the Bobcats with 16 points, while senior Chenoa Toledo scored eight points. 

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