Navajo Prep blows past Shiprock NW 73-24

Karl Schneider
Navajo Prep's Tyler Morgan splits a pair of Shiprock Northwest defenders during a game on Thursday at the Eagles Nest in Farmington.

FARMINGTON – The Navajo Prep boys basketball team opened up the Eagle’s Classic as well as the Eagles could have hoped for.

In the first round of the tournament, Prep rolled past Shiprock Northwest 73-24 Thursday night at the Eagles Nest.

“Everybody got to play a little bit, and it was a good way to start our home tournament,” Prep head coach Rick Hoerner said. “You always want to get your home tournament off to a good start, and we got that done today.”

To start the game, the Falcons spread the floor and kept the ball well outside the 3-point line, passing the ball around while looking for an opening in Prep’s defense. But after a few errant passes that resulted in turnovers and easy layups, the Eagles began to pull away.

“They’ve only got six guys, and those kids gave it all they’ve got,” Hoerner said of the Falcons. “It’s not a lack of effort of coaching or anything like that because those guys work hard — we just have too many guys.”

With Prep applying a lot of on-ball pressure and forcing multiple turnovers, the Falcons scored just 10 points in the first half and trailed 41-10 at halftime.

But in the third quarter, the Falcons found some offensive momentum and scored 11 points in the quarter.

Navajo Prep's Dylan Begay grabs a rebound against Shiprock Northwest on Dec. 2 at the Eagles Nest in Farmington.

All 11 of the Eagles scored in the win. Nachae Nez led Prep with 14 points.

Aliyas Thomas led the Falcons with eight points.

Northwest will play Monument Valley at 3 p.m. today.

Prep will face Navajo Pine in the semifinals tonight at 7. Navajo Pine beat Monutment Valley, Utah, 86-47 in the first round.

Girls basketball

Navajo Prep 36, Robertson 35, OT

Navajo Prep survived a turnover-riddled game with Robertson, edging the Lady Cardinals 36-35 in overtime during the first round of the Lady Braves Classic hosted by Santa Fe Indian School Thursday in Santa Fe.

Prep (2-1) and Robertson (0-2) combined for just 2 points in the final 4:29 of the fourth quarter to send the game to overtime tied at 34.

Robertson’s Angelica Montoya missed an open layup in the finals seconds of overtime, which gave Prep the win.

“We just didn’t play smart tonight," Navajo Prep coach Rainy Crisp said. "We rushed a lot of our offense. Our defense was better, but every time we’d get a steal, we’d turn the ball back over. It was a frustrating game.”

Martinique Larvingo finished one point shy of a triple double, recording nine points, 12 rebounds and 12 steals.

“Her specialty is her defense. I can always rely on her defense,” Crisp said of Larvingo. “She has great quickness and does a good job of reading passes to get into the lanes and get steals for us.”

The Lady Eagles will play Piedra Vista in the semifinals today.

Piedra Vista 65, Taos 61, OT

In a fast-paced game, Piedra Vista held off Taos 65-61 in overtime during the first round of the Lady Braves Classic hosted by Santa Fe Indian School Thursday in Santa Fe.

“We played well. Taos is a good team. We didn’t execute at times, but overall we played pretty well,” PV head coach Joe Reed said. “Taos plays the same style of basketball as we do. It was up and down, and an exciting game the whole time. It came down to them running out of gas at the end, and we were almost out of gas.”

Four Lady Panthers finished in double figures.

Nykki Benally led the way with 22 points after going 16 of 18 at the free throw line. Monique Russell and Elli Wright finished with 13 points each, and Alexis Long added 10 points.

“We scored enough to win, but at times, our defensive intensity wasn’t there,” Reed said.

PV moves into the tournament’s semifinals, where the team will face Navajo Prep. The Lady Panthers and Prep met in the two teams' season opener on Nov. 19 with the Lady Panthers rolling 67-36.

“We watched Prep play today, and it’s a different Prep team,” Reed said. “They’re definitely getting better, and we can’t overlook anyone.”

Kirtland Central 51, Grants 31

Kirtland Central (1-0) opened its season with a win, topping Grants (0-2) 51-31 in the first round of the John Lomasney Invitational Thursday in Gallup.

“Overall, we played OK. Our defense was our best attribute today,” KC head coach John Zecca said. “Offensively, it showed that it was our first game. You could see the jitters, and we had more turnovers than we should have had. Our defense was the difference in the game, but for the first game of the season and first game with a new coach, I think we did all right.”

Haile Gleason led the Lady Broncos with 14 points. Zecca said the sophomore guard had a solid all-around game, handling the ball well and getting to the basket and free throw line.

Deiondra Smith added nine points for KC, which had 11 players score in the win.

KC will play Cleveland today in the semifinals after the Lady Storm beat Winslow, Ariz., in the first round.

Aztec 32, Santa Fe 29

Aztec picked up a narrow victory in its season opener, holding off Santa Fe 32-29 in the first round of the Al Armendariz tournament hosted by Capital High Thursday afternoon in Santa Fe.

With the win, the Lady Tigers (1-0) advanced to the tournament’s semifinals, where they’ll meet Española Valley (2-0) today.

Aztec head coach Robert McCaskill could not be reached for comment.

Karl Schneider is the sports editor for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4648.