Scorps blast Wildcats in Marv Sanders Invite

Karl Schneider

FARMINGTON – The Farmington boys basketball team started its home tournament as well as the Scorpions could have hoped for.

FHS jumped to a 22-6 lead over Fabens, Texas, after the first quarter and rolled to an 80-33 victory in the first round of the Marv Sanders Invitational Thursday night at Scorpion Gym.

“We weren’t sure what they were going to do, so we just wanted to do the things we like to do. And coach (Paul) Corley had them so well prepared, it was different with him not being here, but he had them so ready for tonight,” said Farmington assistant Larry Chitty, who was filling in for Corley, who was attending to a family emergency. “Our defense tonight, I thought it was pretty spectacular, and our press was as good as we’ve seen it all year — not just getting steals, but being in the right spots.”

Farmington's Diego Corely goes for a layup against Fabens' Jeff Spence on Thursday during the Marv Sanders Invitational at Scorpion Gym in Farmington.

Behind their press, the Scorps (3-1) held the Wildcats (4-6) scoreless for the first 4:17 of the game.

Along with it defense, Farmington’s offense was clicking as well. Seemingly every bucket the Scorps converted was either a layup or a wide-open jumper.

Farmington also was scoring from the free throw line, where the Scorps converted on 16 of their 22 attempts.

The highlight of the night came midway through the third quarter. After missing a pair of dunk attempts earlier in the game, Farmington’s David Riley got his coveted flush.

Following a steal, Barrett Bentley gave a perfect lead pass to Riley, who was running down the center of the court. The junior center caught the ball in stride and threw the dunk down left handed.

“He’s wanted one all year, and the thing is, he does it in practice so easily, so when he missed the first couple, I was like, ‘Come on, man,’” Chitty said of Riley’s dunk. “But he finally got a pretty one.”

Farmington's David Riley takes a shot against Fabens, Texas, on Thursday during the Marv Sanders Invitational at Scorpion Gym in Farmington.

Riley finished with a game-high 20 points, while going 10 of 12 from the free throw line. Diego Corley added 15 for the Scorps, and Sol Rascon came off the bench to score 11 points.

Farmington will play Durango, Colo., in the semifinals at 7 tonight. The Demons (3-1) knocked off Cleveland 71-64 in the first round.

Piedra Vista 66, Kirtland Central 56

Piedra Vista wanted a win a little more than Kirtland Central, and the Panthers got it, holding off the Broncos 66-56 in the first round of the Marv Sanders Invitational Thursday at Scorpion Gym.

During the first half, the Panthers played with more intensity on the defensive end of the floor and created multiple fast break opportunities.

“They were active, and they wanted the ball. That’s something we talked about, wanting the ball every single possession and getting on the floor to get it,” PV head coach Adam Huff said. “We’re lengthy, and as long as we stay active, we can get a lot of tips, and then we can get out and go.”

Piedra Vista's Christian Chavez attempts a layup against Kirtland Central on Thursday during the Marv Sanders Invitational at Scorpion Gym in Farmington.

While PV (3-1) looked energized throughout the game, KC (0-4) lacked passion at times, and head coach Brian Dowdy said he and the team aren’t sure what the exact issue is right now.

“To be honest with you, we’re still having a hard time figuring that out ourselves,” Dowdy said of the team’s struggles. “We had stretches we’re we looked really good on both ends of the floor, and then we had stretches where it looked like we’ve never played basketball before, and we’re having a hard time figuring out why that is.”

Dowdy said he thinks some of the issue is a lack of self-confidence and a lack of focus.

Kirtland Central's Ty Yellowman attempts a shot while defended by Piedra Vista's Christian Chavez, left, and Brady Brown on Thursday during the Marv Sanders Invitational at Scorpion Gym in Farmington.

PV's Jarrett Graham led all scorers with 14 points. Keegan Acosta and Fidel Castillo added 12 and 11 points for the Panthers.

Bernell Miller led the Broncos with 12 points after hitting four 3-pointers.

The loss moves the Broncos into the consolation bracket, where they’ll meet San Juan, out of Blanding, Utah, at 1:30 this afternoon.

PV advanced to the semifinals, where it will face 6A Las Cruces.

“Welcome to 6A. We’re going up to 6A next year, and this is our first look,” Huff said. “We have another 6A school (Rio Rancho) on the schedule this year, so let’s go see what we can do.”

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