Lady Scorps sneak past Aztec with 43-42 win

Karl Schneider

AZTEC — The Farmington girls basketball keeps finding ways to win.


The Lady Scorps slipped past Kirtland Central on Tuesday, then stole a win away from Aztec tonight, sneaking past the Lady Tigers 43-42 at Lillywhite Gym.

"I think they're starting to understand expectations, and I think they're starting to believe in themselves," Farmington coach Brady Rivers said of the Lady Scorps. "They're starting to believe the things we've been telling them all season, and good things are starting to happen. Now we just hope it continues through the rest of the season."

Down 42-41 with less than 20 seconds left in the game, Farmington's Phillinda Nez got a good look from about 15 feet out on the right side. But the shot was just long, falling to the hands of Aztec's Reigan Weaver, who was fouled on the rebound.

That's when things got a bit dicey.

Weaver missed the front end of the one-and-one free throw opportunity, but teammate Myra McCaskill slipped in for an offensive rebound and was fouled right away, giving the Lady Tigers another chance to extend the lead.

But McCaskill, too, missed the front end. The rebound fell to a Lady Scorp, who was fouled on the rebound, went to the line for her own one-and-one chance and missed the first free throw.

Again Aztec (12-11, 2-6 District 1-5A) grabbed the board, drew a foul and missed the front end, letting the ball drop to Farmington's Tamia Pete, who was fouled on the rebound and sent to the line.

Pete had two free throws guaranteed with the Lady Scorps (9-14, 3-5) in the double bonus and sank both attempts to put Farmington ahead 43-42 with about five seconds remaining.

"Tamia tweaked her ankle earlier in the game and had to pull herself out of the game. I think she's still fighting through that and stepping up and knocking down those two free throws will really get her going," Rivers said. "I think she's still hurting a little more than she wants to tell us, but I think making those free throws will help that ankle feel a lot better tonight."

After an Aztec timeout to draw up a play, senior Makayla McCaskill got a look at 3 from the left wing to win the game, but the shot was blocked by a Farmington defender to secure the win for the Lady Scorps.

Aztec coach Robert McCaskill said the missed free throws in the final seconds of action got into the Lady Tigers' heads, but a lack of execution throughout the game was the team's biggest issue on the night.

"We had mistakes on both ends. Silly mistakes," McCaskill said. "We didn't box out, we gave up 12 points on offensive rebounds, made silly fouls, missed layups, missed free throws. We made silly mistakes on both ends and it cost us."

Farmington will host Miyamura (8-16, 2-6) on Tuesday.

Aztec will be on the road Tuesday, playing at Gallup (11-11, 4-3).

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