Teams hit the road for holiday hoops tourneys

Karl Schneider
Farmington Daily Times

FARMINGTON — This week, 11 local basketball teams will be on the road for various holiday basketball tournaments.

Farmington's David Riley puts down a two-handed dunk against Piedra Vista on Dec. 10 at Scorpion Gym.

Highlighting this week’s holiday tournament schedule is the annual Poe Corn Invitational boys tournament starting Wednesdaytoday in Roswell. Three local teams — Farmington, Aztec and Bloomfield — will make the trek south for the tournament.

“It’s a good tournament with all 5A schools, so any win you can get at this tournament will help your ranking and strength of schedule,” Farmington coach Paul Corley said. “It’s a big tournament for all the 5A schools, and it’s a fun tournament. They do a good job putting it on.”

The tourney also gives the players a chance to see teams from the southern part of the state that they wouldn’t see until the state tournament.

Farmington (8-1) will meet Artesia (5-2) in the first round of the tourney at 6 p.m. Wednesdaytoday at Goddard High School.

Following the Farmington game, Aztec (4-4) will take on Goddard (6-5) at GHS at 7:30.

Bloomfield (2-5) will play in the nightcap at Roswell High, facing the host Coyotes (7-3) at 7:30.

Also traveling to Roswell this week are the Shiprock Lady Chieftains (10-2), who will play Burges High (12-2), out of El Paso, Texas, Wednesday todayin the first round of the Goddard Holiday Classic.

Shiprock's Melanie Secody, right, tries to drive past Farmington's Ha'Teya Holloman on Dec. 5 at the Chieftain Pit in Shiprock.

The Piedra Vista and Farmington girls teams will play at the Clovis Holiday Classic beginning Wednesdaytoday. PV (6-3) will take on Lovington (4-7) while the Lady Scorps (4-5) will meet Caprock (5-9), out of Amarillo, Texas.

PV coach Joe Reed said playing in a holiday tournament is key to keeping players sharp and focused during the holiday break.

“It’s really important when you get invited to a strong tournament with a good field year in and year out,” Reed said. “This tournament is one of the tougher holiday classics, and it’s good to keep the girls focused and fresh because district is right around the corner, so playing these tougher schools will get us ready for that.”

The Bloomfield girls will play at the Village of Los Lunas Holiday Tournament, facing host Los Lunas in the first round Wednesday nighttonight.

The Lady Bobcats (7-1) and Lady Tigers (4-5) have already met once this season with Bloomfield stealing a 47-45 victory on Dec. 1 in Los Lunas.

Bloomfield's Kara Watchman gets around Piedra Vista's Kristi Lee Bennie for a bucket on Dec. 15 at Bobcat Gym in Bloomfield.

In Rio Rancho, the Piedra Vista boys will play in the Jalene Berger Holiday Hoops Classic, which is hosted by Rio Rancho High. The Panthers (6-4) will play Eldorado (3-1) in the first round Wednesday this afternoon.

The Northwest boys and girls will both be at the small school bracket of the Striking Eagle Invite, held at the University of New Mexico campus in Albuquerque.

The Lady Falcons (1-4) will open the tournament against Cuba’s junior varsity squad at 11:30 a.m. Wednesday today.

The Falcons (0-3) will play Arizona’s Cibecue (3-4) at 3 p.m. Wednesday today.

The Aztec girls basketball team is the only program to travel out of state for a tourney, heading west to Las Vegas, Nev., for the Las Vegas Holiday Classic this week.

Aztec (5-2) will open play in the desert against Dobson High (8-4), out of Mesa, Ariz., Wednesday this morning. Also on the schedule for the Lady Tigers are Centennial (8-2) and Palo Verde (2-5) — both from Las Vegas, Nev., — and Salt Lake City’s Skyline High (5-2).

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