District season in prep basketball heads into homestretch
FARMINGTON — The second half of the district season in high school basketball is underway, with a number of compelling races still to be played out.
The Kirtland Central girls basketball team can lock up the top spot in the District 1-4A standings when they face off with Gallup on the road this weekend in the second matchup this season between two of the top teams in the state.
And the Kirtland Central boys basketball team will square off with Bloomfield on Thursday night, with both teams chasing Miyamura at the top of the district standings.
Here's a look at some of the compelling games this week.
Farmington (17-4, 2-3 district) at Sandia (11-7, 3-1 district), Saturday, 2:30 p.m.
The Scorpions have stumbled in District 2-5A competition, having lost three of their first four games. Farmington lost their district opener to the Matadors on Jan. 18 at the Scorpion Arena by a final of 53-46.
Sandia is led in scoring by senior Sean Johnson, averaging 20 points per game while also pulling down more than eight rebounds per game. Junior Ely Lovato also is scoring an average of 14 points per game.
The Scorpions are 8-2 away from home this season, while the Matadors have a record of 3-2 at home.
Kirtland Central (15-4, 4-0 district) at Gallup (15-2, 3-1 district), Friday, 7 p.m.
The second meeting this season between these two teams will likely determine the winner of District 1-4A and could go a long way in the seeding process for the state tournament in March.
Kirtland Central won the opening meeting at home 50-45 to open the district season, but the Lady Bengals were playing without several of their key players.
Since that time, Gallup has won their next three district games by a combined margin of 249-126.
Gallup, the defending Class 4A champions, are currently ranked number one in that classification in MaxPrep's most recent polls while the Lady Broncos are currently ranked second.
The Lady Bengals are 5-1 at home this season, while Kirtland Central is 9-3 on the road or at neutral sites.
Here's a complete schedule of this week's prep basketball action. Times published are varsity start times and are according to MaxPreps.
Navajo Prep at Tohatchi, 6:30 p.m.
Newcomb at Thoreau, 7 p.m.
Piedra Vista at Farmington, 7 p.m.
Aztec at Gallup, 7 p.m.
Shiprock at Miyamura, 7 p.m.
Bloomfield at Kirtland Central, 7 p.m.
Tohatchi at Navajo Prep, 7 p.m.
Thoreau at Newcomb, 7 p.m.
Gallup at Aztec, 7 p.m.
Thoreau at Navajo Prep, 7 p.m.
Miyamura at Shiprock, 7 p.m.
Kirtland Central at Bloomfield, 7 p.m.
Kirtland Central at Gallup, 7 p.m.
Miyamura at Aztec, 7 p.m.
Navajo Prep at Thoreau, 7 p.m.
Bloomfield at Shiprock, 7 p.m.
Zuni at Navajo Prep, 1 p.m.
Farmington at Sandia, 2:30 p.m.
Eldorado at Piedra Vista, 2:30 p.m.
Gallup at Kirtland Central, 7 p.m.
Aztec at Miyamura, 7 p.m.
Sandia at Farmington, 1 p.m
Piedra Vista at Eldorado, 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.