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FARMINGTON — The Bloomfield girls basketball team opened play at the Hope Christian Invitational with a dominant performance, showing the rest of the field that the Lady Bobcats are a threat to win the tournament title.

Bloomfield (11-2) was featured in the first game of the tourney — the Lady Bobcats’ first game in nine days — and gashed Hot Springs (0-12) 75-17 this morning in Albuquerque.

“We haven’t played since last Tuesday against Tohatchi, so I was a little worried about that, but the girls handled it well,” Bloomfield coach Tom Adair said. “And we had to leave (Bloomfield) at 5:25 this morning, so we were worried about that, as well. But the girls handled the trip well, and they played well.”

Senior guard Kara Watchman was unstoppable in the win, leading Bloomfield with 29 points.

Eden Brown came off of the bench to finish with 12 points.

The win moves Bloomfield into the semifinals, where the Lady Bobcats will face a familiar foe in Shiprock Friday afternoon.

The two teams have met twice already this season. Bloomfield won the first meeting 63-43 on Nov. 29 in Bloomfield. Shiprock took the second game 49-42 on Dec. 2 in Shiprock.

Shiprock 71, West Las Vegas 52

The Lady Chiefs got off to a great start at the Hope Christian Invitational today, cruising past West Las Vegas.

“The girls are playing good basketball right now. The girls are really clicking right now,” Shiprock coach Larenson Henderson said. “It’s amazing the way they play. They’re playing with a lot of maturity, a lot of discipline, and they’re executing well.”

After trailing 9-5 early in the first quarter, Shiprock (14-3) closed the quarter on a 16-2 run and never let the Lady Dons (10-4) back in the game.

Tanisha Begay led the Lady Chiefs with 23 points. Chamika Begaye added 19 in the win.

Shiprock will face Bloomfield (11-2) in the semifinals Friday.

Boys basketball

West Las Vegas 68, Bloomfield 54

A horrendous first half doomed the Bobcats to a 68-54 loss to West Las Vegas in the first round of the Hope Christian Invitational today in Albuquerque.

Bloomfield dug a big hole early and was down 35-14 at halftime.

“It was a lack of focus and lack of intensity on our part,” Bloomfield coach Randy Crockett said of the first half. “The boys just weren’t ready to play, and you can’t do that against a good team.”

Bloomfield (5-8) outscored WLV 30-16 in the third quarter, and got the deficit to 5 points in the fourth quarter. But with time running out, the Bobcats were forced to foul to extend the game and the Dons (11-3) converted from the free-throw line to secure the win.

Adriano Stevenson led Bloomfield with 16 points. Brandon Charley added 10.

Bloomfield will face Socorro (7-8) in the consolation bracket Friday.

The Bobcats beat the Warriors 48-43 on Nov. 26 at the Bernalillo tourney.

Shiprock 66, Hot Springs 56

Shiprock nearly let a fourth-quarter lead disappear, but the Chieftains regained their composure to pick up a 66-56 victory over Hot Springs in the first round of the Hope Christian Invitational today in Albuquerque.

Up 12 points heading into the fourth quarter, the Chiefs (5-9) watched as the Tigers (6-10) cut the lead to 3 points.

“We just weren’t playing very well,” Shiprock coach Chester Atcitty said. “They did a good job of pressuring us and getting under our skin. They roughed us up a little bit.”

But Shiprock got back on track and pulled away in the final couple of minutes to secure the win.

Atcitty said in the final two minutes, the Chieftains adjusted their lineup, getting in a group of players who handled the Tigers' pressure and took care of the ball.

Shiprock will face the host Huskies (11-4) in the semifinals Friday at 7:30 p.m.

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

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