Panthers claw back in the third quarter but are done in by late-game turnovers

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FARMINGTON — The Piedra Vista boys basketball team made a game of it against Cibola during the fourth quarter of tonight's District 1-6A opener, but the Panthers didn't make enough plays down the stretch to pull off the win at home.

Good defense and a string of made shots helped PV (8-10, 0-1) erase a 9-point halftime deficit. The Panthers even took a momentary lead early in the fourth quarter, but untimely turnovers did them in, and they fell 47-40 to Cibola (13-4, 1-1) at the Jerry A. Conner Fieldhouse in Farmington.

"The kids played hard, but in the fourth quarter (Cibola) went on an 8- to- 10-point run to get the separation," PV coach Devon Manning said. "We cut it to 5 a little after that, but by then, it was too late."

Cibola junior guard Cameron Dixon scored a furious 12 points early in the game to blindside PV, but the Panthers fought back with a nice run right out of the half.

The Panthers also benefited from balanced scoring, as Jarrett Graham had 12 points, Shanden Todacheeny had 9 and Christian Chavez dropped 8.

PV starts a four-game road trip at Volcano Vista (10-6, 1-0) on Jan. 27.

Girls basketball

Cibola 50, Piedra Vista 39

In its first test against District 1-6A competition, the Piedra Vista girls basketball team had a strong outing, but the Lady Panthers couldn’t match the physicality of Cibola and fell to the Lady Cougars 50-39 tonight in Albuquerque.

“The girls played well from beginning to end, but the difference in the game was it was a very physical game,” PV coach Joe Reed said. “Cibola pretty much beat us up in the post in the first half. But overall, the girls played well.”

The Lady Panthers (1-9, 0-1 District 1-6A) kept the game close had a chance to put pressure on Cibola (13-5, 2-0) in the fourth quarter after PV forced a couple of turnovers with its press. But both steals ended in missed layups, leaving the Lady Cougars’ lead at 8 points.

“We just couldn’t recover from that that late in the game,” Reed said.

Dani Russo led PV with 12 points. Hannah Sayyeau added 8, and Kristi Lee Benni chipped in 7.

PV will have a week off to prepare for back-to-back home games next weekend when the Lady Panthers host Volcano Vista (10-7, 0-1) on Friday, then Cleveland (6-13, 0-1) on Jan. 28.

Jake Newby covers sports for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4577.

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

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