Scorps blast Panthers 67-46

Karl Schneider
Farmington’s Sol Rascon makes a circus shot during a game against Piedra Vista on Tuesday at Scorpion Gym in Farmington.

FARMINGTON — The Farmington boys basketball team is on a tear in District 1-5A, and there was nothing crosstown rival Piedra Vista could do to slow down the Scorps.

Farmington (18-3, 4-0 District 1-5A) locked down the Panthers (11-10, 1-3) and rolled to a 67-46 victory Tuesday night at Scorpion Gym.

Throughout the game, Farmington’s defense kept PV from getting into any kind of a rhythm, frustrating the Panthers and forcing them to commit numerous turnovers.

“We really mixed it up tonight. We played some man, ran some half-court traps, really just tried to keep them off balance tonight,” Farmington head coach Paul Corley said. “That’s been our mantra, a defensive team. Right now, in district, we’re holding teams to under 40 points per game, which is some phenomenal defense considering the talent in our district.”

PV head coach Adam Huff said his team’s offensive struggles were partly due to a lack of execution, but were mostly the result of Farmington’s ability to take the Panthers out of the game mentally.

“It was a little bit of execution, and we weren’t disciplined, but Farmington took us out of our game,” Huff said of his team’s struggles. “They (Farmington) played great team defense, and we weren’t strong going to the hoop and that allowed (David) Riley to affect us.”

Farmington’s David Riley shoots over Piedra Vista’s Jimmy Wood in a game on Tuesday at Scorpion Gym in Farmington.

Riley, a 6-foot-7 junior, used his size to impose his will on offense, powering his way to point-blank shots, while serving as a rim protector on the defensive end during the first half.

Behind Riley’s 14 first-half points, the Scorps held a 33-21 lead at halftime.

Farmington added to its lead in the third quarter and took a 45-31 advantage into the fourth quarter, which was dominated by Farmington senior Sol Rascon.

The senior forward seemed to be in the right place at the right time throughout the quarter and never lacked aggression on offense, scoring 12 of his 18 points in the final quarter.

“They were just a dynamic duo tonight,” Corley said of Riley and Rascon. “In the first half, David was doing really well, and we were running plays for him because we knew he had the size advantage. Sol was in the middle when they tried a half-court trap, and I told him when he got the ball to attack, and he got a lot of layups because of that mentality.”

Riley finished with a game-high 25 points.

Jarrett Graham led PV with 16 points.

PV has now dropped four straight games, and Huff said he’s not sure what's behind the Panthers's funk.

“I’m trying to figure it out,” he said. “I wish I was a psychologist right now because then maybe I’d know.”

PV will play at Aztec on Friday.

Farmington will also play on Friday, traveling to Gallup to face Miyamura.

“We have to get ready for Miyamura,” Corley said. “I tell them all the time that our game is about possessions. If you have good possessions, you win the quarter, and that leads to the half and then a full game. That’s our focus, taking care of possessions, and they’ve done a really good job at it.”

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