Bloomfield shuts down Navajo Prep 42-34

Lady Eagles commit 46 turnovers in loss

Jake Newby

FARMINGTON — Thanks largely to its defense, the Bloomfield girls basketball team was able to get past Navajo Prep on Monday night.

The Lady Eagles (3-3) couldn't crack Bloomfield's defensive code, failing to find a rhythm at any point in the game. They committed 46 turnovers and lost 42-34 at Bobcat Gym in Bloomfield.

"Some of those turnovers were forced, some of them were a result of (Bloomfield's) tough defense," Navajo Prep coach Rainy Crisp said. "You can never win a ball game with 46 turnovers. We have to be smarter with the ball."

Junior guard Kara Watchman led the way for Bloomfield (2-0) with 18 points in a solid team effort, according to coach Tom Adair.

"It was a great victory because really everyone played well," Adair said. "Navajo Prep is a very good team, so this was encouraging. The defense was definitely key."

The hosts took an 18-10 lead into the locker room at halftime and then came out and had their highest-scoring quarter in the third with 14 points.

Against a Navajo Prep defense that also had a good night, Watchman was composed down the stretch. She hit a big 3-pointer in the fourth quarter to give the Lady Bobcats some much-needed breathing room, as they only outscored Prep 10-8 in the final frame.

Adair's team then took care of business at the free-throw line to close it out.

"We actually missed more free throws than we should have tonight, but we made most of the big ones," Adair said. "We have to clean that up and maybe block out better for rebounds going forward, but you can't be upset with the effort tonight."

Jazmin Benally poured in 17 points in the loss. She was the only player to reach double figures for Prep.

Crisp said the Lady Eagles played their best basketball in the fourth quarter, but couldn't stop turning over the ball when presented with an opportunity to tie or take the lead.  

"We kept it close, but every time we made a great defensive stop or grabbed a great defensive rebound, we would go right back and turn the ball over," she said. "We couldn't stop shooting ourselves in the foot."

Aside from taking better care of the ball, Crisp said she would like to see more patience on offense.

"Too often (on Monday) we would force the ball into the post instead of letting our offensive plays work for themselves," she said. "We have to be patient and trust the plays."

Bloomfield will head to Laguna on Thursday for a three-day tournament, starting with a game against Navajo Pine. The Lady Eagles will attempt to get back over .500 when they visit Dulce on Friday.

Jake Newby covers sports for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4577.