Lady Tiger defense keys fourth straight win

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FARMINGTON — It wasn't pretty, but the Farmington boys basketball team came out victorious on Saturday to win the Wingate Holiday Classic in Wingate.

The Scorpions (7-2) sneaked by Wingate 49-47. They narrowly avoided overtime when the Bears missed a potential game-tying layup as time expired in the fourth quarter.

It was an ugly game, but that's because Wingate (4-4) made it ugly, FHS coach Paul Corley said.

"Wingate played us really tight. You gotta give them credit," Corley said. "They really ran their offense well. It was an ugly win, but sometimes you need wins like these."

Nick Granger scored 9 points in the fourth quarter to put FHS ahead 46-40 before the Bears made one final push.

"We missed way too many free throws and just kind of let them hang around," Corley said.

The Scorps went 15 for 27 from the free-throw line, but escaped with the win when the final shot of the game rolled in and out of the rim.

Granger and David Riley were named to the all-tournament team. Clayton Corley — who guarded the opposing teams' best scorer for much of the tourney — earned most valuable player honors.

"I was proud of my team for finding a way to win despite struggling tonight," coach Corley said.

Farmington takes on Artesia in the first round of the Poe Corn Tournament on Dec. 28.

Piedra Vista 47, Cliff 35

The Panthers made it two wins in a row to close out the three-day Eddie Peña Tournament in Grants this weekend by beating Cliff 47-35 on Saturday to claim third place.

After blowing a fourth-quarter lead to Gallup on Thursday, Piedra Vista (7-3) walloped Thoreau on Friday before outplaying the Cowboys thoroughly on Saturday.

"Cliff does a good job of making teams play at their tempo. They're very patient on offense," PV coach Adam Huff said. "We scored in transition, but not as much as we normally do because they do a good job of being patient and protecting the ball. So we took what we could get today."

With a 5-point lead at halftime, PV managed to outscore Cliff in both the third and fourth quarters.

Keegan Acosta led the Panthers in scoring for the second straight day with 16 points. Jarrett Graham scored 12. Both players were named to the all-tournament team.

The Panthers play next in the Poe Corn Tournament in Roswell on Dec. 28, where they will open against Belen.

Shiprock 61, Thoreau 43

Following a tumultuous first two days at the Eddie Peña Tournament, Shiprock was able to finish on a high note by topping Thoreau 61-43 in Grants on Saturday.

The win secured fifth place for Shiprock (3-5), which lost by double-digit points in each of the first two days of the tourney.

Chieftains coach Chester Atcitty said the offense finally got into a rhythm.

"Our offense had a lot more movement today," Atcitty said. "I think over time we'll get better at executing our offense, but for Thoreau, we just kind of picked them apart."

Shiprock took a 34-17 lead into halftime before allowing Thoreau to cut the lead to 10 in the third. The Chieftains then finished the game strong.

Elijah Harry scored 15 points, a team high. Andre Joe was named to the all-tournament team for Shiprock, which faces Dumas, Texas, on Dec. 28 as part of the Clovis Holiday Tournament.

Laguna Acoma 62, Bloomfield 39

Bloomfield had to settle for fourth place in the Ben Lujan Invitational on Saturday after suffering a 62-39 blowout loss to Laguna Acoma in Pojoaque.

The Hawks (5-1) went on a 12-2 run in the second quarter that the Bobcats (6-3) were never able to recover from. Bloomfield coach Devon Manning said the second quarter was a mess.

"They were scoring at will, and we were helping them score," Manning said. "When we got into a hole, we panicked, and our guys thought they had to make the very hard play to get back into it instead of the simple play."

Laguna Acoma took a 15-point lead into halftime and built on that advantage in the second half.

Malachi Pablo netted 19 points. He and Brendon Charley were named to the all-tourney team.

Bloomfield visits Pagosa Springs, Colo., on Jan. 2.

Girls basketball

Aztec 41, Montezuma-Cortez, Colo., 27

The quick turnaround from Bernalillo at 7 p.m. Friday to Montezuma, Colo., for a 4 p.m. tip on Saturday didn't bother the Lady Tigers one bit, as their defense guided them to the 41-27 win over Cortez.

Aztec (7-2) has won four straight games and has been relying on its energetic, hard-nosed defense.

"We were really focused on defense tonight," Aztec coach Robert McCaskill said. "We were closing out, we were reading, rebounding and just never lost focus."

Cortez took until the fourth quarter to score its first field goal.

Elana Kresl and Myra McCaskill each scored 12 points for the Lady Tigers, who don't play again until Jan. 4. at Bloomfield.

Jake Newby covers sports for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4577.

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