Aztec falls to unbeaten Gallup
PV girls hit 10 3-pointers in win over Miyamura
FARMINGTON – The Aztec girls basketball team didn't get the result it wanted against the No. 1 team in the state, but it at least gained some valuable experience.
Gallup (19-0, 2-0 District 1-5A) held a comfortable lead throughout the night over the visiting Lady Tigers on Thursday and came away with the 67-50 victory at home.
The crowd in Gallup was fired up to watch its undefeated Lady Bengals play, which Aztec coach Robert McCaskill said was good for his team to experience.
"We were playing one of the best teams in the state, a team with a lot of tradition and some very loud fans," McCaskill said. "The girls are young, and they don't have that kind of experience yet, especially in an environment like that."
Aztec (16-5, 2-1) hangs around with its opponent in almost every game, thanks to a disciplined defensive mindset. That was the case against Gallup, as the Lady Tigers trailed by only 8 at halftime.
But the Lady Tigers got worn down and couldn't stop elite center Ni'asia McIntosh after the break.
Three Lady Tigers scored 10 points and two more notched 9 in the loss. Aztec will visit Miyamura on Saturday.
Piedra Vista 68, Miyamura 32
The opening quarter was a forgettable one for the Lady Panthers on Thursday, but they snapped into gear in a major way after that.
A 25-point second quarter explosion, followed by a solid 22-point effort in the third, lifted Piedra Vista to a 68-32 win over Miyamura on the road.
The PV girls started slowly, escaping the first quarter with only a 1-point lead over the Lady Patriots (8-11, 0-2). PV coach Joe Reed said the turnaround started with his defense.
"We started stepping up defensively, and that energy kind of carried over to the offensive side of the court," Reed said. "We did a good job of knocking down shots."
PV (11-6, 1-2) didn't shoot for a high percentage on the night, but the team did hit 10 3-pointers. Four of those long balls came from Monique Russell.
Lady Panthers' leading scorer Nykki Benally dropped a game-high 21 points, and Russell added 16. Reed said his team is that much better when Russell can take some of the scoring load off of Benally.
"She's honestly one of the best shooters in the district," Reed said of Russell. "She's key to our success because Nykki sees a lot of double teams, and we need Monique to knock down those shots when Nykki finds her. Tonight she definitely did that."
PV will host Grants (7-11, 1-0) tonight.
Jake Newby covers sports for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4577.