Scorpions, Panthers girls hoops teams record big wins
- Portales stings Kirtland Central in opening round of tournament action
FARMINGTON — If early season action is any indication of how district campaigns will play out in girls basketball, the outlook for several local teams is quite good.
Both Piedra Vista and Farmington High's girls teams are making waves in the first half of their seasons, with the teams combining for nearly two dozen wins so far.
With the Scorpions and Panthers slated to do battle twice next month in District 2-5A, along with an outstanding team like Sandia (9-1) competing in the district, there's still a great deal of quality basketball to be played this season.
Here's a look at most recent action in girls basketball across the county.
PIEDRA VISTA 73, Capital 30
The Piedra Vista High School girls basketball team has shown they're just as eager to keep opponents from scoring as they are in making shots of their own.
For the fifth time in their last six games, the Lady Panthers used a balance of strong, intimidating defense mixed with some high-profile scorers on their way to a 73-30 win Thursday night over Capital inside the Jerry A. Conner Fieldhouse at Piedra Vista High School.
Senior Lanae Billy, Piedra Vista's top scorer this season, had another solid performance while also getting points from sophomore Brooklynn Harper and senior Doniah Gruber.
Defensively, the Lady Panthers harassed Capital on both sides of the floor, challenging the Jaguars (3-11) with shot blocking and shutting down passing lanes.
"I feel like the girls are really executing and finding the right spots," said Piedra Vista girls basketball coach Joe Reed. "We're able to keep the press on and when we can, we can take advantage of it and get some easy baskets on the other end."
Piedra Vista took command early, hitting a barrage of 3-point shots and smothering Capital's attempts at mounting an offense. The Lady Panthers had a commanding 27-4 lead at the end of the first quarter, then proceeded to outscore the Jaguars 46-26 the rest of the way.
Piedra Vista improves their record this season to 10-3 overall, and have won five of their last six games in blowout fashion.
Their average margin of victory this season is more than 40 points per game, scoring an average of 61.2 points and allowing only 20.6 points in their 10 wins.
Piedra Vista will be in action again Tuesday at 7 p.m. when they host Bloomfield.
FARMINGTON 71, Tohatchi 46
The Farmington High School girls basketball team kept its unblemished record this season intact after a resounding 71-46 home win Thursday night inside Scorpion Arena.
The win improves the Scorpions record this season to 12-0. They remain the top-ranked team in the state in Class 5A according to the most recent poll released by MaxPreps, and have won 10 of their 12 games by double-digit margins.
Tohatchi falls to 8-4 this season as Thursday night's loss snapped a three-game win streak for the Cougars, who will be back in action on Monday at 7 p.m. to host Bloomfield.
Farmington will hit the road on Saturday in hopes of remaining unbeaten when they visit the Chieftain Pit to face Shiprock at 1 p.m.
AZTEC 37, Shiprock Northwest 17
The Aztec High School girls basketball team opened the Cuba Invitational with a 37-17 win Thursday afternoon over Shiprock Northwest.
The Lady Tigers snapped a four-game losing streak with the victory and move on in the championship bracket Friday afternoon to face Tse Gai High School, who lost to Socorro in the first round.
The winner of that matchup will face either Socorro or Cuba for the championship, scheduled for Saturday at 4:30 p.m.
Aztec's win improves their record this season to 3-9.
PORTALES 51, Kirtland Central 35
The Kirtland Central High School girls basketball team lost their second straight game Thursday, falling to the Portales Rams 51-35 in the opening round of the Portales Invitational.
The loss drops the Lady Broncos record this season to 8-4 after a loss earlier in the week at Farmington High School.
The tournament, which is being held in a round-robin format, continues Friday with Kirtland Central facing Carlsbad at 2:30 p.m.
Steve Bortstein can be reached via email at SBortstein@Gannett.com, via Twitter @DTSBortstein or on the phone at (505) 635-2680.