Prep girls basketball scene heats up with start of new year

Steven Bortstein
Farmington Daily Times
  • Bloomfield High girls basketball hosts Valencia Tuesday night before traveling to Durango High.
  • Piedra Vista (9-3) open six-game homestand Tuesday against winless Los Lunas

FARMINGTON — Three of the top girls basketball teams in the state of New Mexico hail from San Juan County schools, according to the most recent polls released over the weekend by MaxPreps.

Farmington, Kirtland Central and Navajo Prep are at the top or near the top of the rankings in their respective classifications as they each open the new year with important games and tournament competition in the coming days.

Here's a look at each of the local and area girls basketball teams upcoming schedules and current rankings.

Class 5A

The Farmington Lady Scorpions, currently 10-0 and atop the polls in Class 5A, will be busy this week with three games over the course of the next five days.

More:2021 Sports Year In Review

Tuesday night, Farmington will host Kirtland Central, coming in with a seven-game win streak. Beyond that, non-district action will continue on Thursday night at home against Tohatchi and a Saturday road trip to face Shiprock.

The Scorpions and Broncos are longtime local rivals, with the two teams meeting for the Class 4A title 20 years ago. Most recently, Kirtland Central has led the rivalry, having beaten Farmington in five of their last seven games dating back to 2015.

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Meantime, Piedra Vista, ranked 12th in the Class 5A poll, open a six-game homestand Tuesday night against winless Los Lunas. On Thursday, the Lady Panthers will host Capital.

Coming into the new year with a record of 9-3, Piedra Vista does not play away from the Jerry A. Conner Fieldhouse until Saturday, Jan. 22.

For a complete look at the state's Class 5A rankings and schedules, click on the MaxPreps official page.

Class 4A

Kirtland Central girls basketball head coach Devon Manning believes he will learn a lot more about his team in the coming days after opening the season with an 8-2 record heading into the new year.

"We've got a strong five games coming up, playing tough competition and looking to get better," Manning said last week after a 39-29 win over Rio Rancho.

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

Ranked third in the state in Class 4A, the Broncos will visit unbeaten and Class 5A top-ranked Farmington at Scorpion Arena on Tuesday night. After that, Kirtland Central will take part in the Portales Shootout, featuring teams from Carlsbad as well as the host Rams team, both teams ranked in the top five in their respective classifications.

Bloomfield, ranked 10th in the state in Class 4A with a record of 5-4, is coming off a tough loss to Miyamura in the third place game of the Goddard Invitational last week.

The Bobcats will look to get back on the right track Tuesday night when they host Valencia before going on the road to face Durango on Saturday. 

The Kirtland Central girls basketball team poses for photos after winning the championship in their division of the Ben Lujan Invitational, Saturday, Dec. 18, 2021 at Pojoaque Valley High School.

Meantime, Aztec and Shiprock are both struggling to get out of the gate this season. The Tigers (2-8) and Chieftains (3-8) will look to get back into contention this week when Aztec hosts Taos on Tuesday night while Shiprock visits Zuni on Monday night before a home game against Farmington.

For a complete list of rankings, schedules and more in Class 4A girls basketball, check out the official webpage

Class 3A

Navajo Prep, the defending Class 3A state champions are battling their way through early season tournaments and are in the midst of a three-game win streak and coming off a tournament championship.

Navajo Prep's Amber Garcia (14) looks to go up for a basket while surrounded by Shiprock defenders in the second quarter of a girls basketball game Tuesday, Nov. 30, 2021 inside the Scorpion Arena at Farmington High School

Ranked fourth in the state in Class 3A with a record of 9-3 this season, the Lady Eagles swept their competition in last week's Striking Eagle Native American Invitational held at the University of New Mexico.

The Eagles get a bit of a break before returning to action next week. Navajo Prep will open their District 1-3A campaign on Monday, Jan. 10 when they host Zuni.

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