FARMINGTON — The Bloomfield girls basketball team picked up a massive win in its season opener, toppling Shiprock 63-43 tonight at Bobcat Gym in Bloomfield.
The Lady Bobcats trailed by 9 points at halftime, but cleaned up their turnovers and started knocking down shots in the second half to pull away.
“In years past, when we’d get down like that and start to feel the pressure, we’d collapse. But tonight, they came out and did the things they needed to do,” Bloomfield coach Tom Adair said of the Lady Bobcats. “In the first half, we had too many turnovers, and we couldn’t make our free throws or layups. We talked about that at halftime, and we did those things in the second half. We fixed the things we needed to fix in the second half.”
Bloomfield’s size and physicality down low was a key to the game for the Lady Bobcats (1-0). They limited Shiprock’s second-chance points with solid rebounding and got the Lady Chieftains (1-1) into foul trouble.
“We had to fight with them on the boards and had a couple girls get into foul trouble,” Shiprock coach Larenson Hendeson said. “Tonight just wasn’t our night and things kind of fell apart for us. We had a lot of fighting we needed to do, but I’m proud of the girls. They kept hanging in there.”
With the Lady Chieftains in foul trouble, Bloomfield was able to keep the intensity high, subbing 11 players to keep the Lady Bobcats’ legs fresh.
Adair said the team’s depth was a main factor the victory.
“I thought that was the key. In past years, we haven’t been able to play that many girls, but all the girls played well tonight. They worked really hard,” he said.
Destiny Walther led Bloomfield with 17 points, followed by Brandi Alcantar with 15 and Kara Watchman’s 11.
Paige Dale was the lone Lady Chieftain to crack double figures, finishing with 11 points.
Shiprock won’t have to wait long to try to get revenge for the lopsided loss as the two teams will meet Friday during the Jerry Richardson Invitational in Shiprock.
Navajo Prep 77, Monument Valley, Utah, 21
Defense shined for the Navajo Prep girls basketball team tonight as the Lady Eagles dominated Monument Valley, Utah, (0-2) for a 77-21 win on the road.
“It was definitely our defense. We really concentrated more on our defense this game,” Prep coach Rainy Crisp said. “We’re trying to be more aggressive with our defense, getting up and pressuring a lot more to take away the pass, and the girls did a great job of that.”
Crisp said the Lady Eagles (2-0) executed their press through most of the first half to create turnovers that led to easy layups.
Martinique Larvingo led Prep with 19 points to go with five assists and eight steals.
Prep will play Taos in the first round of the Santa Fe Indian School tournament on Thursday.
Newcomb 43, Northwest 29
The Northwest girls basketball team didn’t have enough in its legs to keep up with Newcomb in the fourth quarter and fell to the Lady Skyhawks 43-29 tonight in Newcomb.
The Lady Falcons (0-1) trailed 28-23 early in the fourth quarter, but coach Mike Christy said his team was simply too tired to maintain the pace.
“We played better than I anticipated. I’m very pleased with our effort,” Christy said.
Christy said the key to the Lady Falcons success in the first three quarters was their man-to-man defense that kept Newcomb (4-0) in check.
Trinity Brown led Northwest with 8 points, and Kylie Denoyer added 7.
Northwest will play in Red Valley/Cove, Ariz., Thursday at the Chieftain Pit in Shiprock.
Karl Schneider is the sports editor for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4648.