Shiprock blows out Zuni, Bloomfield bests Thoreau
FARMINGTON – Friday brought one of the more forgettable performances of the year for the Kirtland Central girls basketball team, but the district-leading Lady Broncos still pulled out a win over Wingate.
KC improved to 18-5 overall and 8-0 in District 1-4A by holding off the Lady Bears 38-32 on the road.
The Lady Broncos led by only 3 points at halftime, but managed to sustain that slim lead by the time the final buzzer went off. KC left a lot of points on the table, according to coach John Zecca.
"We haven't played well the last couple games. We've just been missing too many shots," he said. "That's partly my fault, because it's my job to get the girls mentally prepared for every game, not just every big game."
KC's penchant for creating turnovers and turning them into points paid off in the contest, as the team did not shoot the ball well out of the half-court offense.
Wingate (11-12, 3-5) deployed a man-to-man defense on KC in the teams' first meeting and switched to a zone on Friday. Zecca said that confused his players, but he's not sure why.
"That shouldn't have thrown us off," he said. "We still had our looks, we just couldn't make good on them. We committed too many silly turnovers, too."
Megan Silversmith led the team in scoring with 9 points.
KC hosts Shiprock (21-3, 7-1) on Tuesday in a game with major district championship implications. The visiting Lady Broncos stole the first meeting between the rival teams on Jan. 29.
Bloomfield 60, Thoreau 36
The Lady Bobcats brushed off Tuesday's loss to Shiprock on Friday night by going on the road to defeat Thoreau 60-36.
Bloomfield (16-8, 5-3) got right to work, building a 16-2 advantage right out of the gate. The Lady Bobcat defense was instrumental in the win, holding Thoreau (6-17, 1-7) to just 8 points by halftime.
"We played really good defense in that first half, and it's a good thing, 'cause (Thoreau) had a girl get hot shooting the ball in the second half," Bloomfield coach Tom Adair said.
Senior forward Andrea Tahe was the Lady Hawk who lit it up from deep with six 3-pointers. All six of her treys came after halftime.
Destiny Walther, Bloomfield's season leader in scoring, paced her team again on Friday with 16 points. Halle Payne helped out with 14 off the bench.
The Lady Bobcats will try to make it two wins in a row Tuesday when they return home to square off with Zuni (3-20, 0-8).
Shiprock 90, Zuni 11
The Lady Chieftains showed no mercy on Zuni Friday night, demolishing the hosts 90-11 on the road.
Shiprock went on a ridiculous 35-0 run to open the game and cruised from there for its fifth straight win.
"I was amazed because at one point a referee came up to me and said, 'Are you going to start slowing down?'" Shiprock coach Larenson Henderson said. "I didn't even really realize where we were with the lead. I was just trying to get the girls to do the right things on the court."
Shiprock's Tanisha Begay scored a game-high 20 points in the rout. Paige Dale added 15, and Tia Woods dropped 14 on the Lady Thunderbirds.
Ahead of Tuesday's crucial rematch with KC, Henderson said his three leading scorers from Friday need to keep it going against the Lady Broncos.
"Shontai (Gray) had a good game scoring the ball against Kirtland Central last time, and hopefully our other top scorers help her out," he said. "But mainly, if we clamp down on defense, we should be just fine."
Jake Newby covers sports for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4577.