District titles and postseason trips on line in final week of season
FARMINGTON There are only a handful of games remaining in the regular season for high school basketball before district tournaments get underway later this month.
The final week of the regular season offers some important matchups for teams making plans for the postseason.
Here's a look at this week's games and an inside glance at some of the week's most important contests.
Boys Basketball Game of the Week
Crownpoint at Navajo Prep, Tuesday, 7 p.m.
The only District 1-3A loss suffered by eighth-ranked Navajo Prep this season came at the hands of Crownpoint, losing 59-48 on the road on Jan. 25.
For Navajo Prep, it was their first game in 18 days after the program was halted due to pandemic related cancelations and closures. Crownpoint (17-6 overall, 9-1 district) didn't miss a beat during that time frame, and took advantage of Navajo Prep's layoff.
"We weren't allowed to practice, we were limited in what we could do, and then suddenly we're back at it," said Navajo Prep coach Matt Melvin.
Both Navajo Prep (14-7 overall, 8-1 district) and ninth-ranked Crownpoint bring eight-game win streaks into the final week of the season and have a commanding lead over their counterparts in District 1-3A. The winner of this game would likely be the host in the district tournament championship game and have an inside track to the state tournament next month.
Crownpoint's only district loss this season came on Jan. 20 on the road at Zuni, a team that Navajo Prep has beaten twice this season by a combined margin of 58 points.
Crownpoint will feature junior Tyrell Archie, averaging more than 16 points per game this season, as well as senior Kordell McMillan, averaging nearly 11 points and 4 assists per game.
Girls Basketball Game of the Week
La Cueva at Farmington, Tuesday, 7 p.m.
The Farmington High School girls basketball team (23-1 overall, 7-1 District 2-5A) suffered their only loss this season on the road against La Cueva on Jan. 29.
Lady Scorpions coach Larenson Henderson said the loss might have been the best thing for the team.
"You learn a lot when you lose," Henderson said. "And I think if we gather ourselves together and not get too far off the game plan and stay with what works for us, we'll get back on track."
Since that time, second-ranked Farmington has won four straight, with three of those wins coming by double-digit margins. Senior Kiiyani Anitielu has been outstanding of late, scoring 27 points in a win on the road over Eldorado on Saturday night. Prior to that, Anitielu scored 31 points in a home romp over West Mesa.
The Lady Bears visited San Juan County last week, edging clear of Piedra Vista 69-61 and keeping their record unblemished in district play.
La Cueva (18-4 overall, 8-0 district) is ranked fourth in the most recent MaxPreps poll and feature a trio of star players, including leading scorer sophomore Eva Love, as well as seniors Carolina Romero and Rylie Ottmann, all averaging more than 10 points per game this season.
Farmington at La Cueva, 7 p.m.
Sandia at Piedra Vista, 7 p.m.
Crownpoint at Navajo Prep, 7 p.m.
Wingate at Thoreau, 7 p.m.
La Cueva at Farmington, 7 p.m.
Piedra Vista at Sandia, 5:30 p.m.
Kirtland Central at Aztec, 7 p.m.
Bloomfield at Miyamura, 7 p.m.
Shiprock at Gallup, 7 p.m.
Navajo Prep vs. Crownpoint, 7 p.m.
Thoreau at Wingate, 7 p.m.
Navajo Prep at Newcomb, 7 p.m.
Aztec at Kirtland Central, 7 p.m.
Miyamura at Bloomfield, 7 p.m.
Gallup at Shiprock, 7 p.m.
Thoreau at Crownpoint, 7 p.m.
Farmington at Piedra Vista, 7 p.m.
Piedra Vista at Farmington, 7 p.m.
Gallup at Aztec, 7 p.m.
Newcomb at Navajo Prep, 7 p.m.
Miyamura at Shiprock, 7 p.m.
Kirtland Central at Bloomfield, 7 p.m.
Crownpoint at Thoreau, 7 p.m.
Aztec at Gallup, 7 p.m.
Bloomfield at Kirtland Central, 7 p.m.
Shiprock at Miyamura, 7 p.m.
Steve Bortstein can be reached via email at SBortstein@Gannett.com, via Twitter @DTSBortstein or on the phone at (505) 635-2680.