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Shiprock tops KC to claim No. 1 seed in 1-4A

Farmington girls survive scare from Miyamura

Jake Newby
jnewby@pnj.com
Shiprock's Tia Woods shoots against Kirtland Central's Deiondra Smith in the second
quarter on Monday at Bengal Gym in Gallup.

FARMINGTON — The rubber match between the Shiprock and Kirtland Central girls basketball teams went Shiprock's way on Monday night in Gallup, and now so will the top seed in the district tournament.

The District 1-4A rivals each finished the regular season with 9-1 district records, their only losses coming to each other. The first two match-ups were both decided by 5 points or fewer, but the Lady Chieftains won a no-doubter 55-40 on Monday.

Down by 3 at halftime, Shiprock (24-3, 9-1) flipped a switch in the second half, outscoring KC 19-10 in the third quarter and 16-7 in the fourth.

"They stepped up in the fourth quarter on defense, and we didn't respond very well," Lady Broncos coach John Zecca said. "They obviously didn't want to give up their crown. They came out with a lot of pride, and you gotta respect that."

Monday's start closely resembled the first half of the Feb. 16 battle between the two teams in Kirtland, which was knotted up 3-3 after one quarter of play. The offenses struggled mightily from the field, and they didn't kick into gear until after the break.

On Monday, Shiprock's Tanisha Begay led the charge by netting 16 of her game-high 20 points after halftime. The athletic junior guard got into the paint and consistently scored at the rim. Her aggressive mindset led her to seven free-throw attempts, of which she hit five.

The Lady Broncos (19-7, 9-1) kept Shiprock at bay in the first half because they rebounded well and didn't give up second-chance shots. But Shiprock fought back on the boards after halftime to turn the game around.

Haile Gleason was tops in scoring for KC with 18 points. Her Lady Broncos will return home on Wednesday to play Bloomfield (18-9, 7-4) in a district tourney semifinal game.

Zecca doesn't anticipate a shortage of energy in the battle with the Lady Bobcats, as he doesn't think Monday's tiebreaker game meant a whole lot.

Shiprock's Keishonna Begay and Kirtland Central's Shayonna Begay battle for a rebound on Monday at Bengal Gym in Gallup.

"We still get our home game, and we came out of this one without any injuries, so that's what really matters," he said. "Against Bloomfield, it's going to start on the defensive end, especially if our shots aren't falling."

On Wednesday, the Lady Chieftains will host either Wingate or Thoreau, which they are a combined 4-0 against on the season. The winner of that game will meet the winner of the Bloomfield vs. Kirtland Central game on Friday night for the district title.

Farmington 40, Miyamura 38

The third time was nearly the charm for visiting Miyamura, but fourth-seeded Farmington moved on in the District 1-5A tournament by winning 40-38 on Monday at Scorpion Gym.

Farmington (12-12, 4-5) defeated the Lady Patriots by at least 18 points in the teams' previous two meetings this season, but Miyamura (8-18, 0-9) gave the hosts all they could handle on Monday night.

"We were lackadaisical in the first half," FHS coach Danny Secrest said. "We were lazy on the boards and on defense, and (Miyamura) was just hitting shots. They played very loosely."

The Lady Scorps had to fight out of an 11-point, second-quarter deficit, which they did, closing the gap to just 2 points by halftime.

Farmington's Brighton Clah lines up a two-point shot against Miyamura on Monday at Scorpion Gym in Farmington.

They managed to build a 5-point lead with less than two minutes to go, but Miyamura battled back again, putting itself in a position to send the game to overtime. Just before time ran out, the Lady Patriots missed a floater in the lane, and Farmington grabbed the rebound to seal it.

"You have to win ugly sometimes, and that was one of those," Secrest said.

Brighton Clah led FHS in scoring with 9 points.

Farmington will now tangle with Piedra Vista (16-8, 4-4) at 7 p.m. today at PV after upsetting the Lady Panthers on Saturday.

Bloomfield 70, Zuni 5

Bloomfield crushed Zuni by at least 60 points for the second time in less than a week.

The Bobcats drew the No. 3 seed in the District 1-4A tourney and met up with Zuni, the sixth seed, on Monday at Bobcat Gym. The results were not pretty for the Lady Thunderbirds (4-23, 0-11), as Bloomfield followed up 71-11 drubbing on Feb. 16 with a 70-5 victory on Monday.

"The girls did good, they got better even from the last time we played Zuni," Bloomfield coach Tom Adair said.

Kara Watchman scored 11 of her game-high 15 points in the first quarter. Kimmy Morgan hit a pair of 3-pointers on her way to 12 points.

Adair said his team is anxious to hit the road and try to best KC for the first time this season.

"I think we're hungry," he said. "It's a brand new season, and the goal for us is to win the district tournament. We know what we're up against, and I think we're ready.

Boys basketball 

Miyamura 65, Aztec 47

Miyamura blasted visiting Aztec 65-47 on Monday to move on in the District 1-5A tournament.

The Patriots drew the No. 4 seed and played the Tigers (1-24, 0-9), who were No. 5.

Miyamura (10-16, 4-5) will advance to play Piedra Vista (13-12, 3-5) at Jerry A. Conner Fieldhouse at 5:30 p.m. today.

Aztec coach Jeremy Archuleta could not be reached for comment by press time.

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