BLOOMFIELD — Balance has equaled success for the District 1-5A-leading Bloomfield girls basketball team this season. But even the deepest, most balanced teams need go-to players who can rise up when the team is in a bind.
For the Lady Bobcats, Destiny Walther is one of those players.
Walther starts at center for the Lady Bobcats, and her 11.1 points-per-game average is second on the team behind fellow senior starter Kara Watchman, who has averaged 14.2 points a game through Bloomfield's first 22 games. Walther and Watchman have been more than formidable as a one-two punch for coach Tom Adair's Lady Bobcats.
"Well, they're best friends, so that helps," Adair said. "And then, they've both been starters for me for a while now. Destiny's been starting for me for three years since she moved here, and Kara's been starting since she was a freshman."
Walther, who moved to Bloomfield from Kirtland in 2014, said her friendship with Watchman spills over onto the court and makes both athletes better.
"We never even argue. We're basically like sisters," Walther said. "When she's having a down game, I pick her up, and when I'm down, she picks me up."
Both of Bloomfield's standout scorers were "up" during Friday's loss to Gallup, Bloomfield's first district loss of the season.
Walther lit up the Lady Bengals with 14 of her 16 points before halftime. Watchman took the baton after the break, dropping 10 of her team-high 19 points.
Walther said her 2-point second half was less a product of Gallup making adjustments and stifling her and more about Watchman and others finding a groove.
"In the first half, I felt unstoppable. I felt like what I was doing was working," Walther said. "Then in the second half, a lot of my teammates stepped up. I wasn't the main attraction anymore because other players like Kara and Alyssa (Quintana) were getting a lot of points."
While the Lady Bobcats would have obviously preferred to avoid the 74-72 loss, Walther said good can come from it.
"I think it's something we can learn from, the loss," she said. "I don't think we gave it our full effort at the very end. So we can't let that happen again."
Walther, who brings more than just offense to the hardwood, is capable of doing her part to make sure the Lady Bobcats don't slip up again in their quest for a district title. A true post player, Walther hasn't even attempted a 3-pointer this year. She nearly owns a double-double average for the season with 9.2 rebounds per game, and she plays solid defense for a coach who demands discipline on that side of the court.
Adair said Walther has contributed largely to Bloomfield's 51-29 cumulative record since joining the varsity roster three seasons ago.
"We need her to play great defense, which she's very capable of," Adair said. "And then also rebounding, she's a very good rebounder. She's had games with high double-figure rebounds, like 18, 19 a game. So she's very capable, very athletic. We've seen her one-hand balls on rebounds when she catches it, and you don't see a lot of women athletes do that, especially at the high-school level."
Walther's 11.1 PPG scoring average is down from the 14.0 PPG clip she put forth last year, which led the team. But that scoring reduction doesn't bother the team captain. She said she's aware Bloomfield is deeper than it was last year and boasts a more dangerous offensive roster, so she has no problems ceding points as long as the team is winning.
"We just want to win a district title and a state title," Walther said. "That's all we really care about, not who's scoring the most points or anything like that."
Jake Newby covers sports for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4577.
A closer look: Destiny Walther
Favorite thing to watch on Netflix?
"There's a lot, but I'd say 'Bob Burgers.'"
Favorite subject in school?
Least favorite subject?
What is the first thing you would do with $1 million?
"I would probably buy my mom a house."
Do you have a favorite song to pump you up before games?
"I just listen to chill songs, actually."
Do you have any pregame rituals?