Navajo Prep wins with another late-game shot
FARMINGTON – It's been an unbelievable week for the Navajo Prep boys basketball team.
On Tuesday, Nachae Nez hit a game-winning shot with five seconds left to knock off then-unbeaten Bloomfield. Then on Friday night, Tyler Morgan played the hero, as the sophomore drained a 3-pointer with seven seconds remaining to lift Navajo Prep over Thoreau by a final of 45-44 at the Eagles Nest.
“These games are killing me,” Prep coach Rick Hoerner said of the recent string of close games. “It was good to see Tyler step up. It was a good moment for him and for our team to find another way to come out with a win.”
Prep (7-2) edged Thoreau (4-2) even without much offensive help from Nez, the team’s leading scorer, who struggled shooting the ball and finished with just 10 points.
Hoerner admitted that neither team shot the ball particularly well on Friday.
“A lot of it tonight was close, but no cigar with the shots,” he said. “I don’t think either team is going to go home saying, ‘Boy we shot the ball well tonight.’”
After Morgan’s huge triple, the Prep defense trapped Thoreau on the inbounds pass and the visitors failed to get a shot off.
Now on a five-game win streak, the Eagles head to Aztec to play the 0-7 Tigers on Friday.
Aztec 40, Ruidoso 28
Aztec picked up a hard-fought win in the consolation bracket at the Tournament of Champions, shutting down Ruidoso 40-28 Friday in Artesia.
“We started off a little slow, but we played really well in our man-to-man defense,” Aztec head coach Robert McCaskill said.
Elana Kresl led the Lady Tigers with 16 points.
McCaskill said Kresl did a good job breaking Ruidoso’s press and beating her defender in one-on-one situations to get to the hoop for layups.
Sophomore Myra McCaskill added 8 points for Aztec.
Aztec will continue play at the tournament, but McCaskill said he wasn’t sure who the Lady Tigers would face in the fifth-place game.
Tohatchi 60, Bloomfield 57
Bloomfield suffered a heartbreaking loss in the semifinals of the Laguna Acoma tournament Friday.
After Kimberlyn Morgan nailed a 3-pointer to tie the game at 57 with 16 seconds remaining, the Lady Bobcats deflected the ball out of bounds with two seconds left.
But that was just enough time for Tohatchi to convert a 3-pointer of its own to win the game.
“Tohatchi is a good team,” Bloomfield head coach Tom Adair said. “We should have won, we just turned the ball over against their press too much, and that hurt us.”
Destiny Walther led the Lady Bobcats with 20 points.
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.