Bloomfield grinds out 46-36 win over Farmington

Karl Schneider

BLOOMFIELD — Good teams find a way to win when nothing seems to be going their way, and that's exactly what the Bloomfield girls basketball team did tonight against Farmington.

Bloomfield's Kara Watchman splits the Farmington defense  for a layup on Tuesday at Bobcat Gym.

The Lady Bobcats had nothing going for them for about the first 20 minutes of the game — shots weren't falling, turnovers were common and fouls piled up — but they kept grinding and grinding to pull out a 46-36 victory at Bobcat Gym.

"We won, and that's the most important thing. Our girls have won 15 games this season, and it hasn't always looked pretty, but they've pulled it out," Bloomfield coach Tom Adair said.

No one reflected the grind-it-out philosophy more than senior Destiny Walther. Through the first two and a half quarters of the game, Bloomfield's standout post was a nonfactor. But Walther took over in the final few minutes of the third quarter to help ignite the Lady Broncos.

With her team leading 25-24 with a little less than three minutes left in the third, Walther sparked a 7-0 run.

On back-to-back Bloomfield possessions, Walther sealed her defender on the low post, received the pass over the top and finished with easy buckets. Then, on the next possession, she grabbed an offensive rebound and slipped a pass through Farmington's defense to Alyssa Quintana, who converted on an old-fashioned 3-point play to make it 32-24.

Farmington's Celeste Coolidge scores over Bloomfield's Mattie Waresback on Jan. 31 at Bobcat Gym.

"She responded well. She didn't have a good game at the beginning, but she responded well," Adair said of Walther.

The spark from Walther at the end of the third was the start of a 16-4 Bloomfield run that spanned close to eight minutes of action that saw the Lady Bobcats (15-4, 4-0 District 1-5A) build a 41-28 lead.

"Bloomfield has some good guards, and their post players can kind of get lost, then it seems like they almost come out of nowhere on you," Farmington coach Brady Rivers said. "They're a team that can contend at the state tournament because they can play inside and they can play outside."

While they didn't get the win, the night was another mark of improvement for the Lady Scorps (7-13, 1-4).

Rivers said the Lady Scorps put forth more effort than they had in recent games, giving the team more confidence and some positives to build on.

Walther was the only player from Bloomfield to crack double figures, finishing the night with 10 points. But eight other Lady Bobcats found the scoring column.

"All nine of the girls who played scored, and we don't win if it's not for our bench," Adair said. "They all came in and played good minutes for us. We're a team. When one player doesn't have a good night, someone needs to step up, and we did that tonight."

Lyla Denny paced Farmington with 13 points.

Bloomfield will play at Miyamura (8-13, 2-3) on Friday.

Farmington will host Gallup (8-11, 1-3) on Friday.

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