Scorps survive scare from Aztec 49-40
Dowdy, Enoah help Kirtland Central cruise past Miyamura 70-54
FARMINGTON — The Farmington and Aztec boys basketball teams showed how much of a difference a month can make.
When Aztec and Farmington met during the Poe Corn Invitational in Roswell last month, the Scorps beat up on the Tigers for a 67-22 victory on Dec. 29.
Tonight's meeting between the two ended the same as in December, with Farmington victorious, but the Tigers (5-14, 0-3 District 1-5A) gave the Scorps (16-3, 2-1) a scare, losing 49-40 at Lillywhite Gym.
Aztec coach Matthew Steinfeldt said the biggest difference between the first meeting with Farmington and tonight's was the energy and intensity the Tigers played with on defense.
"Early in the season, we played with a lot of energy on defense. The guys bought in to everything and were flying around, but somewhere I think we started paying too much attention to the scoreboard and wins and losses," Steinfeldt said. "We still lost tonight, but I think we played with more of that early-season energy."
The score could have been much different, but Farmington missed 24 free throws in the game, going 14 for 38 on the night.
"We're playing so inconsistent right now. We missed 24 free throws, and when you don't make free throws to extend the lead, it allows them to make some baskets to keep up with you," Farmington coach Paul Corley said. "Right now, I think free throw shooting is in between their ears. I think it's a mental thing. We'll work on it, but I think they just need to focus more to make their free throws."
Farmington never trailed in the game, but the Tigers stayed close and kept their deficit to 3 to 7 points most of the game.
Nick Granger paced the Scorps with 21 points.
Cody Smith led Aztec with 9 points.
Farmington will be home on Saturday, hosting Miyamura (9-10, 0-3).
Aztec will hit the road, traveling to Gallup to challenge the Bengals (7-12, 1-2) on Saturday.
Kirtland Central 70, Miyamura 54
The Broncos remained perfect in district play by utilizing their size against a shorter Miyramura team on the road tonight.
KC (11-7, 3-0) won for the seventh time in its last eight games by topping the Patriots 70-54. Bryson Dowdy led the way with 28 points, and Terrin Willie continued his streak of hot offensive second halves by going eight for eight from the free-throw line after halftime for all 8 of his points.
The Broncos presented Miyamura (9-10, 0-3) with a bad match-up, as the Pats struggle to shoot the 3-ball and are considerably smaller in the front court than the Broncos. Miyamura was forced to attack the paint, where KC big man Nathan Enoah met them with more than five blocked shots on the night.
"It was back and forth in the first half," KC coach Brian Dowdy said. "Miyamura plays hard as heck, they're just a little undersized."
KC was ahead by only 6 points at halftime, but stretched the lead out by as many as 17 after the break.
The Broncos will be tested on Saturday, as they go on the road to play a Bloomfield (9-8, 2-0) squad that has won five straight games.
Karl Schneider is the sports editor for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4648.
Jake Newby covers sports for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4577.