FARMINGTON — There's a battle atop the District 1-5A boys basketball standings.
With Farmington's 74-53 blasting of Bloomfield tonight at Scorpion Gym — the Bobcats' first loss in district play — the Scorps and Bobcats now sit in a three-way tie with Kirtland Central for the No. 1 spot in the district at 4-1.
The Scorps took control right away against the Bobcats. In the first half, they hit five 3-pointers while their defense held Bloomfield to a mere 16 points — 8 of which came from the free-throw line — to take a 32-16 lead into halftime.
"I have to give Farmington a lot of credit. They played great defense, and they came ready to play. We weren't ready for what they brought, and I have to give them credit for what they did," Bloomfield coach Randy Crockett said. "We didn't get our offense going. Sixteen points in the first half when we've been scoring 70 points a game is a big difference. Farmington played really good defense in the first half."
Bloomfield (11-9, 4-1) got its offense going in the second half, scoring 16 points in the quarter, but the Scorps (18-3, 4-1) never slowed down on offense and held a 50-32 lead heading into the fourth quarter.
Farmington's offense did a bit of everything in the win. The Scorps connected on eight 3s, found success in the low post, attacked the lane for layups against Bloomfield's zone defense and drew 20 free throw attempts, connecting on 12.
Farmington coach Paul Corley credited Farmington's offensive success for opening up the flow of the offense. In the last couple of games, the Scorps struggled to find a rhythm, something Corley said was result of the team trying to slow the game down to the point that the Scorps started overthinking everything.
"We were really aggressive trying to get to the basket, and I gave all the kids the green light from 3," Corley said. "Bloomfield plays that zone (defense) to try to slow it down, but we played the tempo we like, and that's fast and quick."
David Riley led Farmington with 21 points. Nick Granger added 16, and Sol Rascon chipped in 14 for the Scorps.
Brendon Charley and Ty Padilla led Bloomfield with 12 points apiece, and Zech Watts added 11.
Both Farmington and Bloomfield will be back in action Saturday night.
Farmington will travel to Gallup to face the Bengals (8-13, 2-3) while the Bobcats will host Miyamura (10-11, 1-4).
Kirtland Central 59, Gallup 55
Broncos coach Brian Dowdy said the Kirtland Central players took Saturday's 70-61 loss to Bloomfield to heart, and, in turn, worked hard during practice this week to make sure they didn't experience another letdown.
In a game of runs, Kirtland Central (12-8, 4-1 District 1-5A) had just a couple more than Gallup in earning a 59-55 win at Bronco Arena tonight in Kirtland.
"I love this group, they had a fantastic practice (Wednesday)," Dowdy said. "They took the Bloomfield (loss) personally, they took accountability and they worked hard in practice."
Just like against the Bobcats, the Broncos didn't shoot the ball very well versus the Tigers (8-13, 2-3), but that wasn't due to shot selection, Dowdy said.
"They just weren't really falling for us tonight and haven't been lately," he said.
Up by as many as 9 points in the early part of the fourth quarter, KC went deep into its bench and wound up having to fend off the rallying visitors down the stretch.
Terrin Willie and his team-high 17 points helped the Broncos do just that, and Bryson Dowdy chipped in with 14 for KC.
The Broncos try to snatch their second straight win during a road contest against Aztec (5-16, 0-5) on Saturday.
Miyamura 68, Aztec 65
The Aztec boys basketball team narrowly missed picking up its first district win of the season, falling to Miyamura (10-11, 1-4) 68-65 tonight in Gallup.
Aztec coach Matthew Steinfeldt could not be reached for comment.
The Tigers (5-16, 0-5) will be back in action on Saturday, hosting Kirtland Central (12-8, 4-1).
KC beat the Tigers 74-68 on Jan. 19 in Kirtland.
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.