Bloomfield girls and boys dominate
FARMINGTON – The Aztec girls basketball team had a rough start to the Tournament of Champions.
After trailing 19-15 at halftime, the Lady Tigers were held to just 7 points in the second half and fell 49-22 to Carlsbad (4-0) in Thursday’s opening round of the tournament in Artesia.
The Lady Tigers (3-2) struggled offensively throughout the game. They scored just 3 points in the first quarter and failed to score in the third quarter, allowing a 4-point halftime deficit to turn into 22 points at 37-15 after the third.
Aztec head coach Robert McCaskill said the difference between the first and second half for the Lady Tigers was their post play. He said in the first half the team rebounded well, but after a couple of injuries forced the team to go with a smaller lineup, Aztec couldn’t maintain control on the boards.
Grace Olson led the Lady Tigers with 7 points.
Aztec will play Ruidoso (1-3) in the consolation bracket at 8:30 a.m. today.
“They’re going to run a zone (defense),” McCaskill said. “They have a post player who’s about 6-foot-3, and it’s going to be a little difficult to match up with her after both our post players got hurt today and won’t be able to play.”
Bloomfield 61, Pine Hill 16
Bloomfield opened the Laguna Acoma tournament in dominating fashion, blasting Pine Hill (3-3) 61-16 Thursday in Laguna.
“The girls played well,” Bloomfield head coach Tom Adair said. “The girls played really good defense, and we didn’t even press in the second half.”
Four Lady Bobcats finished in double digits. Destiny Walther led the way with 13 points, and Makayla Taylor added 12. Brandi Alcantar and Sierra Ortiz chipped in 10 points each.
Bloomfield (3-0) will play Tohatchi (5-1) in the semifinals today.
“We’re going to have to take care of the basketball and not turn it over. We did a good job of that today, but this team didn’t press like Tohatchi will,” Adair said. “Tohatchi is very quick, their girls are very basketball savvy and they shoot the 3 very well, so we’re going to have to play great defense.”
Bloomfield 61, Crownpoint 33
The Bobcats came out focused after losing their first game of the season to Navajo Prep Tuesday, victimizing Crownpoint 66-31 at home on Thursday night.
Malachi Pablo netted a game-high 27 points, while Christian Chavez chipped in with 12 and Brendon Charley added 10 in an all-around dominant effort.
Bloomfield coach Devon Manning said he reminded his team of two things prior to the game.
“We have two rules: One is, every time we step on the court, we play our hearts out,” Manning said. “And the second is, we’re not good enough to not follow through with rule one.”
Manning said his team was mistaken when it thought it could beat Prep “on reputation” Tuesday. He wanted to make sure the Bobcats bounced back in a big way against Crownpoint, and that’s exactly what they did, led by an encouraging effort from Charley, who looked for his shot and rebounded well all night.
Bloomfield (5-1) plays Socorro next on Thursday as part of the Ben Lujan Tournament at Pojoaque Valley.
Belen 73, Aztec 51
Aztec fought as hard as it could, but that wasn’t enough to keep up with Belen at Belen’s Hub City Classic, and the Tigers fell 73-51 in the tourney’s first round Thursday.
“We did a good job tonight,” Aztec head coach Jeremy Archuleta said. “We gave our all and had a good, solid bench effort. We did a good job all around, but Belen is a great team.”
The Tigers (0-6) trailed just 19-15 after the first quarter, but Belen (4-0) poured it on in the second and held a 38-21 advantage at halftime.
Preston Daughtry led the Tigers with 28 points.
Aztec will continue play in the tourney today at 4:30 p.m., but Archuleta said his team's opponent had not been determined late Thursday.
Karl Schneider is the sports editor for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4648.
Jake Newby covers sports for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4577.