Shiprock explodes in 4th quarter to beat Elks

Jake Newby, and Karl Schneider
Farmington Daily Times

FARMINGTON — The Shiprock boys basketball team put together a complete performance today, knocking off Pojoaque Valley (14-9) 57-39 in nondistrict play at the Chieftain Pit in Shiprock.


The Chieftains' defense was superb all game, but it took a few quarters for the offense to catch up.

With the game tied at 30 entering the fourth quarter, Shiprock (9-13) exploded with a 27-point quarter.

"We did what we needed to do," Shiprock coach Chester Atcitty said. "I'm proud of them. I told the boys we wanted to play four quarters of tight defense, and they did."

Landon Henderson led the way with 19 points, hitting three 3s in the fourth quarter while the Chiefs connected on 14 of 18 free throws in the final quarter.

Shiprock (1-1 District 1-4A) will be back in district action on Tuesday, playing at Thoreau (7-14, 0-2).

Rio Rancho 85, Piedra Vista 57 

For the second straight night, Piedra Vista was up for the challenge of hanging with one of District 1-6A's powerhouses.

For one half, anyway.

The Panthers (8-14, 0-5 District 1-6A) trailed defending 6A champion Rio Rancho by just 1 point at halftime, but some of the same issues that plagued them during Friday's loss to Cibola cost them against Rio Rancho, as PV fell 85-57 tonight on the road.

"It was just the same story as last night," Panthers coach Devon Manning said. "We're making smart plays, then the second half starts, and (Rio Rancho) doesn't even put super pressure on us, but we just forget how to run our offense for some reason. We went away from what we were trying to do, and once that snowball got going, we couldn't stop it."

Jarrett Graham scored a team-high 22 points for the Panthers, who watched a lot of turnovers lead to easy transition points for the Rams (15-8, 2-3) after the break.

"Once they got comfortable, it was lights out," Manning said. "'Cause they just relaxed a little more, and we panicked more."

PV's four-game road swing ended with a 0-4 record. The Panthers are at home Friday to face Cleveland (17-6, 4-1).

Girls basketball

Rio Rancho 75, Piedra Vista 38

Up until tonight, the Piedra Vista girls basketball team had more than held its own against all the District 1-6A competition placed in front of it.

But Rio Rancho proved to be a different animal.

The Lady Panthers (11-12, 1-4 District 1-6A) were out of it by halftime tonight, and lost 75-38 at the Jerry A. Conner Fieldhouse in Farmington.

After the game, PV coach Joe Reed said the blame was on him.

"The game film we had on Rio Rancho didn't do them any justice," Reed said. "They were way faster and way bigger than they looked on tape. I should have gone down there to see them live."

The Lady Panthers had trouble getting to their spots in their press defense in the first half, and the Lady Rams took full advantage. Rio Rancho (13-9, 5-0) went into halftime with a 44-19 lead.

The most lopsided of PV's three district losses coming into tonight's game was an 11-point loss to Cibola on Jan. 20.

Dani Russo dropped 12 points for PV, which hits the road to play Cleveland (7-16, 1-4) on Friday.

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.