Haceesa's heroics lift Lady Eagles over Taos

Karl Schneider

FARMINGTON — Harlei Haceesa is the only senior on Navajo Prep’s roster, and the Lady Eagles often look to her for leadership and experience, but the senior provided so much more tonight.

Navajo Prep's Harlei Haceesa scores during the second half against Taos on Friday at the Eagles Nest.

In the final minute against Taos, Haceesa snagged an offensive rebound, sank the put-back while drawing a foul, and converted the and-one opportunity to give the Lady Eagles a 43-42 win at the Eagles Nest.

“They did good, and they stayed calm. They didn’t get excited and panic, especially when we were down in the final minute,” Prep coach Rainy Crisp said of the Lady Eagles. “What really helped were the rebounds that we got at the end.”

Taos had a chance to win the game in the final seconds, but Prep’s defense forced the Lady Tigers into a tough shot that missed.

Prep (7-1) trailed by 4 at the start of the fourth quarter before its defense locked down on the Lady Tigers (7-4), holding them to 1 point in the quarter.

Martinique Larvingo led Prep with 17 points while grabbing six rebounds and five steals.

Haceesa added 11 points and five boards.

Prep will be off until Jan. 5 when the Lady Eagles face Durango, Colo., (6-3) in the first round of the Lady Tigers Rumble, hosted by Aztec.

Navajo Prep's A'Isahah Chavez takes a shot against Taos on Friday at the Eagles Nest.

Aztec 62, Thoreau 34

The Lady Tigers (4-2) found the defensive intensity they’ve been lacking through the early stages of the season and cruised to a 62-34 win over Thoreau (4-4) tonight in Thoreau.

“We were able to lock in on defense tonight, which had been a poor effort earlier in the year. We starting to get our defensive footing,” Aztec coach Robert McCaskill said.

McCaskill said the Lady Tigers’ offense remains to be a work in progress and that it’s not as fluid as he’d like it to be, but added that it has been improving game by game.

Reigan Weaver led Aztec with 17 points. Myra McCaskill added 13 points, and Kamrynn Phelps grabbed seven boards.

Aztec will be back in action Saturday, hosting Bernalillo (0-10) at Lillywhite Gym.

Los Lunas 49, Kirtland Central 43

Kirtland Central suffered a collapse in the second half and dropped a 49-43 decision to Los Lunas tonight in Los Lunas.

The Lady Broncos held a 10-point lead at halftime, but in the third quarter they couldn’t get out of their own way.

“We came out and scored 2 points in the third quarter and were a completely different team in the second half,” KC coach John Zecca said. “Los Lunas didn’t do anything different to make us play badly, we just didn’t have the same effort in the second half as we did in the first half. It’s a hard pill to swallow.”

Zecca said the Lady Broncos (3-6) played strong defense in the first half, but their confidence dropped off in the third when the Lady Tigers (3-5) made a quick run.

Shayonna Begay led KC with 13 points.

KC will wrap up its Los Lunas road trip Saturday, facing Valencia (2-4).

Boys basketball

Farmington 62, Hot Springs 32

The Farmington boys basketball team kept rolling at the Wingate Holiday Classic, crushing Hot Springs 62-32 tonight in Fort Wingate.

The Scorps had a slow start to the game, hold an 11-9 lead after the first quarter before holding the Tigers (4-5) to 2 points in the second quarter.

“It seems like these teams really come out and play us hard at the beginning, and it puts us on our heels a little bit,” Farmington coach Paul Corley said. “But as always our defense got going and created some turnovers with our full-court man (defense) that turned into some easy points.”

Farmington (7-1) blew the game open in the third quarter when Nick Granger hit 3-pointers on four consecutive possessions.

Granger led the Scorps with 18 points. Jacob Brown added 14, doing most of his damage after snagging offensive rebounds.

Farmington will face either Wingate (2-4) or Zuni (3-3) in the tournament’s final Saturday afternoon.

Española Valley 68, Bloomfield 60

Bloomfield wrapped up play at the Eddy Peña Holiday Classic with a 68-60 loss to defending 5A state champion Española Valley (7-0) tonight in Grants.

“The kids played a lot better tonight than they did (Thursday) night,” Bloomfield coach Randy Crockett said. “It was pretty close throughout. They pulled away a little bit in the third quarter, then we cut into it in the fourth.”

Damion Sanchez led the Bobcats (2-5) with 20 points, and Zech Watts added 13.

Sanchez and Ty Padilla were named to the all-tournament team.

Bloomfield will be off until Dec. 28, when the Bobcats face Roswell (5-2) at the Poe Corn Invitational in Roswell.

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