Piedra Vista, Navajo Prep boys win big

Slow start burns Kirtland Central against Pojoaque Valley

Jake Newby

FARMINGTON — The Piedra Vista boys basketball team broke into the win column on Friday night by mowing down Albuquerque Academy 59-37 at Jerry A. Conner Fieldhouse in Farmington.

Navajo Prep's Nachae Nez drives to the basket on Friday during a game against Navajo Pine at the Eagles Nest in Farmington.

It was a feeling-out process early on, according to PV coach Adam Huff, but the Panthers (1-1) found their stride defensively by the middle of the first half.

"We missed a lot of shots and didn't convert many turnovers into points, so it was pretty much a one-point game for a while there," Huff said. "We played good defense to make sure we got that lead and held it, then we finally made turned that defense into points by running the fast break."

With their team ahead by 10 points through three quarters, senior Keegan Acosta and sophomore Jerrett Graham got into a groove from behind the 3-point line in the fourth quarter with five treys apiece.

Acosta finished the game with 19 points, and Graham had 12, as PV outscored Academy 23-11 in the game's final quarter.

PV will try to go above .500 when it hosts Moriarty at 3 p.m. today.

Navajo Prep 76, Navajo Pine 45

Navajo Prep earned a spot in the championship of the Eagle's Classic on Friday night by blowing past Navajo Pine 76-45 at the Eagles Nest in Farmington.

Junior Nachae Nez had the hot hand in the first half with five 3-pointers and 20 points. He finished the game with 25.

"We got off to a really good start offensively. Nachae just played really well," Prep coach Rick Hoerner said. "Defensively, we shut their three big scorers down, I think they combined for like seven points."

Prep (4-2) went into halftime with a 30-point advantage, but Hoerner said he made it clear to his players that they had to keep their energy up after the break.

Navajo Prep's Dylan Begay attempts a shot against Navajo Pine on Friday at the Eagles Nest in Farmington.

"They have those good scorers, so if you let them get going, it's going to be a fight all night, so you have shut them down and put them away," he said. "And I felt like we did that."

The Eagles will play the Durango, Colo., junior varsity team today in the final.

Pojoaque Valley 67, Kirtland Central 45

Another slow start cost Kirtland Central another game.

The Broncos (0-2) managed only 14 points in the first half on Friday night in Pojoaque Valley and wound up losing  67-45.

KC coach Bryson Dowdy watched his team struggle to get going offensively for the second time in as many games, as the Broncos managed only 13 points in the first half of Tuesday's loss to Los Lunas.

"It's been a nightmare. We've come out horrible both of our first two games," Dowdy said. "I've got to fix something with the way we start."

Dowdy said he was pleased with his team's performance in the second half, but by then, it was too little, too late.

"We had a couple of good runs in the third and fourth quarters, so I was actually pretty happy with the way we played down the stretch," he said. "But in the first half, we had 13 turnovers and 14 points. If you have one more point than you have turnovers you're not going to beat very many teams."

The Broncos will try to put the rough start behind them when they play Taos this afternoon at home.

Jake Newby covers sports for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4577 and jnewby@daily-times.com. Follow him @JakeNewby07 on Twitter.