Lady Broncos basketball roll over Shiprock, Scorpions boys falter at Eldorado

Steven Bortstein
Farmington Daily Times

FARMINGTON — The Kirtland Central Lady Broncos are on another collision course with the Gallup High School Lady Bengals after both teams scored convincing wins in district tournament action Wednesday night.

Meantime, the Farmington High School boys basketball team saw its district tournament run come to an end on the road at Eldorado.

Here's a recap of the prep basketball action from Wednesday night.

Girls Basketball

KIRTLAND 64, Shiprock 12

The Kirtland Central girls basketball team wasted little time in putting away Shiprock on Wednesday night.

Jumping out to a 25-1 lead at the end of the first quarter, the Lady Broncos were efficient in winning their second round District 1-4A tournament clash 65-12 over the Lady Chieftains at Bronco Arena. The win sets up a fourth meeting this season between themselves and Gallup Friday night at Bronco Arena for the district tournament championship.

More:Farmington boys basketball advances in district tournament on buzzer-beating win

Winning their sixth straight game and having only one loss from their last 15 outings, Kirtland Central was on cruise control after opening the game with a 14-0 run. Emilia Clani, who scored six points in the first quarter, led the way along with Teghan Begay and Kiara Beall-Gleason, who each scored five points in the opening frame.

The Lady Chieftains didn't score their first point until 3:11 was remaining on the clock in the first quarter.

Kirtland Central went into the locker room with a 40-3 lead at the half and played the entirety of the second half with a running clock. That gave head coach Devon Manning a chance to rest some starters, including senior Aisha Ramone, who will be needed Friday night in the district tournament finale at home against Gallup.

Kirtland Central (22-5 overall) has won twice this season against Gallup, including their most recent showdown Monday night at Newcomb High School in a tiebreaker to determine the district regular season championship.

Kirtland Central's Sydney Smith drives into the lane against Shiprock's Harmony Sells during their district playoff game, Wednesday, Feb. 23, 2022 at Bronco Arena.

The defending state champion Lady Bengals have lost only three games this entire season, two at the hands of Kirtland Central and a season-opening loss against Class 5A state contender Farmington.

"We got to rest our legs a little bit for Friday night," said Lady Broncos coach Devon Manning on the ease with which Kirtland Central put away Shiprock. "We just have to do what we can, continue to play our style and we should be good for Friday."

Kirtland Central's victory over Gallup Monday night assured the Lady Broncos a berth and a high seeding in the state tournament, which gets underway on Friday, March 4. Gallup will most assuredly find themselves in the state tournament, and will learn their fate when seedings are announced Sunday night.

For more information on the seedings and brackets for the state tournament, make sure to find them at our website Monday morning. 

"For all we know, we could have just awakened a sleeping giant," Manning said of Kirtland Central's most recent victory over Gallup. "Maybe we turned the switch on them a little bit."

Shiprock wraps up their season with a record of 7-21 overall, with three wins this season coming against district opponents. The Lady Chieftains finished fifth overall in the district standings and are ranked 23rd in the state in Class 4A.

GALLUP 66, Miyamura 24

The Gallup High School girls basketball team pulled clear in the second half to post a convincing 66-24 win at home over crosstown rival Miyamura on Wednesday night in the second round of the District 1-4A tournament, possibly putting an end to the Lady Patriots season.

The victory by the Lady Bengals assures themselves a fourth meeting this season against Kirtland Central for a chance to win the district tournament title. The Lady Bengals have lost two of their three meetings with Kirtland Central this season.

Gallup, the top-ranked team Class 4A team in the state according to MaxPreps, led Wednesday night's game 28-14 at the half before outscoring the Patriots 38-10 in the second half. The defending state champions will most likely find themselves in the state tournament regardless whether they win or lose the tournament championship game Friday at Kirtland Central.

Seedings for the upcoming state tournament will be announced Sunday night.

Miyamura finishes the season with a record of 12-15 (7-5 district). Ranked 14th in the state in Class 4A, there is an outside chance they could be selected to play in the state tournament. During the season, Miyamura went 0-5 against Gallup and Kirtland Central, losing by an average margin of nearly 26 points per game.

NAVAJO PREP 79, Zuni 44

The Navajo Prep girls basketball team took a big step in defending their Class 3A state championship Wednesday night, running past Zuni by a final of 79-44 in their district tournament quarterfinal match.

Navajo Prep's Maureen Ford drives past Zuni's Haiden Peyketewa (20) and Kealani Kaamasee (40) in the paint for a layup in the fourth quarter of girls District 1-3A tournament game on Wednesday, Feb. 23, 2022 at the Eagles Nest.

The Lady Eagles improved their record to 20-5 this season (11-2 in district), and are ranked fourth in the state according to the most recent Class 3A MaxPreps poll. The win sets up a Thursday night clash in the District 1-3A tournament semifinals against Crownpoint, which is scheduled for 6 p.m. at Shiprock High School.

Zuni wraps up the regular season with a record of 14-11 (5-9 in district). Ranked ninth in the Class 3A poll, the Lady Thunderbirds will await to hear of their fate in the upcoming state basketball tournament when seedings are announced by the New Mexico Activities Association on Sunday night.

Boys Basketball

ELDORADO 75, Farmington 31

The Eldorado High School boys basketball team overcame a sluggish start and rolled past Farmington High School to a convincing 75-31 win at home Wednesday night in the second round of the District 2-5A tournament playoffs.

The win sets up the Golden Eagles in a semifinal match Friday against Sandia, while Farmington (20-8 overall, 5-7 district) will await word from the New Mexico Activities Association as to their inclusion in the state tournament, which gets underway Saturday, March 5.

Seedings for the state tournament will be announced on Sunday night. For more information on the seedings and brackets for the state tournament, make sure to find them at our website Monday morning.

The Scorpions, currently ranked 12th in the state, were coming off an emotional win Tuesday night over West Mesa which was capped by a buzzer-beating three-point shot by senior Cayden Yazzie.

The Scorpions finish the regular season with and a win and two losses to Eldorado, both losses coming on the road. Farmington narrowly beat the Golden Eagles at the Scorpion Arena earlier this month.

"They made everything tonight and we didn't," said Scorpions coach Larry-Don Chitty after the Wednesday night loss. 

La Cueva, who finished the regular season as district champions will face the winner Saturday night of the Sandia vs. Eldorado matchup for the district tournament title.

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