FARMINGTON – The Navajo Prep boys basketball team overcame a slow start to win the Bison bracket at the Striking Eagle Invitational, toppling Cuba 68-48 Saturday in Albuquerque.
“We got off to a slow start. We struggled rebounding and missed a bunch of layups, but in the second half, we started clicking,” Prep head coach Rick Hoerner said. “It was a good weekend for us, especially coming off the holiday break when we don’t get to practice.”
Nachae Nez led the Eagles with 22 points. Tyler Pete chipped in 12 points.
Nez won the tournament’s MVP award. Pete was named to the all-tournament team.
Hoerner said he hopes the good performance will give the Eagles a confidence boost heading into the final week of play before they enter the District 1-3A schedule next week.
Prep will host Dulce (5-1) on Friday, then travel to Bayfield, Colo., to take on the Wolverines (2-5) on Saturday.
Farmington 47, Bernalillo 33
Farmington’s defense came up big as the Scorps shut out Bernalillo (6-7) in the fourth quarter en route to a 47-33 win Saturday night in Bernalillo.
The Scorps (11-2) started slow, falling behind 8-0. But they clamped down on defense and took a 12-11 lead at the end of the first quarter.
“That was really important early on, establishing our defense,” Farmington head coach Paul Corley said. “We did a good job executing the game. One thing I’m really proud of is, it was 37-33 heading into the fourth quarter, and we held them scoreless the last quarter.”
Corley said his team rebounded well and was able to break through Bernalillo’s pressure for easy layups.
Sol Rascon led the Scorps with 13 points. David Riley finished with 12 points.
Farmington will host Kirtland Central (4-10) on Tuesday.
Moriarty 47, Shiprock 39
Shiprock couldn't sustain its fast start on Saturday and fell 47-39 to Moriarty at the Chieftain Pit.
Good ball movement helped the Chieftains (4-6) hop out to a 13-6 advantage through one quarter of play.
But the Fighting Pintos (5-6) prevailed behind excellent high-low offensive execution.
Moriarty center Jake Fleming scored 19 points to lead all scorers. His 6-foot-6 frame was problematic for Shiprock, according to Shiprock coach Chester Atcitty.
"Their big man was pretty steady all the way through," he said. "Once they figured out the zone we were working, they got their high-low going. Then when you put all the focus on the big man, they get the backdoor going on you."
Andre Joe led the way for Shiprock with 11 points. The Chieftains will head to Albuquerque on Thursday for the Hope Christian Tournament. Their first opponent will be 5-9 Socorro.
Deming 73, Kirtland Central 58
The Broncos hung around with 6A Deming (9-6) for a while, but let the deficit slip into double digits after halftime and lost 73-58 on Saturday in Gallup.
Kirtland Central (4-10) couldn't adjust to the Wildcats' second-half defensive changes. The Broncos finished with a 1-2 record in the Gallup Invitational.
"For whatever reason, we couldn't do much against their zone. It's kind of odd because usually we're a pretty good zone offense," KC coach Brian Dowdy said.
KC settled for too many outside shots on the day despite finding some success inside.
Bryson Dowdy led the team with 13 points. Riley Hamblin had 11 with three 3-pointers.
The coming week will be a challenging one for the Broncos. They visit Farmington (10-2) on Tuesday and Grants (11-2) on Thursday.
Jake Newby covers sports for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4577.
Karl Schneider is the sports editor for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4648.