PV back in Marv Sanders final after 41-36 win

Karl Schneider

FARMINGTON — The Piedra Vista boys basketball team got a tough test from Durango, Colo., in the semifinal, but the Panthers had enough answers to earn a 41-36 tonight in the semifinals of the Marv Sanders Invitational at Scorpion Gym.

Piedra Vista's Brady Brown gets fouled while going up for a shot against Durango, Colo., on Friday at Scorpion Gym.

PV couldn’t find a way past the Demon defense in the first quarter and was forced to change the offense to a spread attack to open up driving lanes.

“I don’t know if we were just flustered or what. Durango put pressure on us, and we turtled up. I don’t know why they do that. They just need to trust the offense,” PV coach Devon Manning said of the Panthers’ offensive troubles in the first quarter. “But it wasn’t working, so we went to what has been the most successful for us so far (this season).”

Neither team created much of an advantage, with most of the game being played with the two teams within a few points of each other. The closeness of the score, along with a physical style of play, led to an intense contest.

After trailing 20-19 at halftime, PV took control in the third quarter, outscoring the Demons 12-6.

The Panthers maintained a small lead until Jarrett Graham drained a 3-pointer from the left corner to put the Panthers ahead 38-31 with 2:10 remaining.

PV held on to the 7-point lead until the final minute, when back-to-back PV turnovers led to 5 quick points for Durango, making it 38-36 with 19.3 seconds left.

After PV’s Jalen Woods made one of two free throws to make it 39-36, Durango’s Kobe Szura got a clean look at a 3 to tie the game. But his shot was long.

Piedra Vista's Jason Compton makes a free throw against Durango, Colo., to secure the win for the Panthers on Friday at Scorpion Gym.

PV’s Jason Compton made two late free throws to secure the win.

Brady Brown led PV with 17 points. Jarrett Graham added 13.

PV will be in the tournament’s championship for the second straight year. The Panthers lost to Farmington 61-54 last year.

“We can’t get too hyped. I know we’ve done that — I’ve especially done that — the last couple of years playing Farmington,” Brown said. “In the championship game, when we played them last year, we all wanted to go out there and prove something, and we were too hyped and had a lot of turnovers. We need to be relaxed and play within ourselves.”

San Juan, Utah, 63, Shiprock 38

For the second game in a row, the Shiprock boys basketball team couldn’t get its offense going during the Marv Sanders Invitational today at Scorpion Gym.

The Chieftains had multiple scoring droughts of several minutes and scored just 12 points in the second half en route to a 63-38 loss to San Juan out of Blanding, Utah.

“It’s kind of surreal, the whole situation we’re in right now,” Shiprock coach Chester Atcitty said of the team’s offense. “It can’t get any lower than it is right now. The only place we can go is up, hopefully.”

The Chieftains didn’t score their first points of the game until the 3:28 mark of the first quarter, but caught fire in the final few minutes of the quarter and trailed just 14-11 heading to the second.

Shiprock’s offense stayed on point in the second quarter and went into halftime tied at 26 after Arvin Begay hit a 3-pointer from the top of the key at the buzzer.

But coming out of the locker room for the third quarter, the Chieftains went ice cold again and didn’t score until 1:57 remained in the quarter. By that point, the Broncos’ lead had grown to double digits.

Defensively, Shiprock kept San Juan’s offense contained, but failed again and again to keep the Broncos off the offensive boards and gave up multiple second-chance points.

“It’s a combination of not boxing out, not being explosive to get to the ball and having quick hands. You need to have those three things (to rebound), and we’re not doing those things,” Atcitty said. “We need to be more effective and keep our opponents to one shot. We’ll go back to the drawing board and come up with something to get better.”

Landon Henderson scored 9 of his team-high 12 points to lead Shiprock.

Shiprock will play Fabens, Texas, in the seventh-place game at noon Saturday.

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