Scorps become back-to-back district champs
- District 1-4A: No. 3 Navajo Prep hosts No. 4 Thoreau on Tuesday, with the winner visiting No. 2 Shiprock on Thursday.
- District 1-5A: No. 3 Gallup hosts No. 6 Aztec on Tuesday, the same day No. 4 Bloomfield welcomes No. 5 Miyamura.
- District 1-5A: The winners of the pair of Tuesday games move on to play either No. 1 Farmington or No. 2 Kirltand Central on Thursday.
- District 1-6A: Piedra Vista topped Volcano Vista in its season finale and gets a rematch with VV Tuesday in the first round of the District 1-6A ladder tourney.
FARMINGTON — The Farmington boys basketball team experienced a little bump in the road early in the district season, but the Scorpions have since smoothed things out, and they became regular-season District 1-5A champions on Saturday at Scorpion Gym.
A desperate Bloomfield team came to play on Saturday, so Farmington (23-3, 9-1) needed a 13-0 run late in the fourth quarter to knock off the Bobcats 48-42 and earn the No. 1 spot in this week's district tournament.
"Well first of all, we want to thank our fans and parents, they really came out in numbers for us," Farmington coach Paul Corley said. "Bloomfield had a 5- or 6-point lead midway through the fourth quarter, and they pretty much played their tempo. Our kids just wanted it. We finally gained control and didn't let it go."
Farmington spent time in second place in 1-5A after losing to KC by 1 point on Jan. 21, but the Scorps then reeled off eight straight wins, culminating in a second-straight, regular-season district title win. That marked the first time the program has claimed back-to-back district titles since 2008-2009.
Bryson Dowdy dropped 28 points on Saturday to lead the Broncos (16-9, 8-2) to a 67-61 win over Gallup, propelling KC to clinch the No. 2 seed in the tournament. Farmington and KC are off until Thursday, when they will each host 7 p.m. semifinal games at their respective home gyms.
Heading to either FHS or Kirtland will be two of these four schools: Gallup (11-15, 5-5), Bloomfield, Miyamura or Aztec.
Despite falling to KC, the Bengals still clinched the No. 3 seed and will host No. 6 Aztec on Tuesday. Bloomfield (12-13, 5-5) ended up with the same district record as Gallup, but the Bengals beat BHS twice this season, so Bloomfield has to settle for the No. 4 spot and a Tuesday home game against No. 5 Miyamura (12-14, 3-7). The Patriots routed Aztec (5-21, 0-10) 70-49 on Saturday to ensure the Tigers finished the season without a district victory.
Re-seeding will take place after Tuesday's round of games to determine the team that plays the Scorps and which one tangles with the Broncos.
Panthers snap seven-game losing skid in district play, get a rematch with Volcano Vista on Tuesday
Piedra Vista (9-16, 1-7 District 1-6A) got a confidence boost at the right time on Saturday when it toppled Volcano Vista 71-58 at the Jerry A. Conner Fieldhouse in Farmington.
"That was probably the best we've played in a long time, and we've had some good games in district," PV coach Devon Manning said. "It was a fun game to coach and a fun game to watch."
The Panthers will turn around and battle with Volcano Vista (13-11, 3-5) again on Tuesday — this time at the Hawks' gym — in the first round of the 1-6A ladder-style tournament, with the winner playing at Cibola on Wednesday in the semifinal.
Manning said he expects VV to be charged up in the rematch.
"Volcano has a chip on their shoulder, and now they're gonna come over even harder," Manning said. "We gotta be able to match their intensity. If we can weather that first storm early on, I think we'll be alright."
Navajo Prep edged by Wingate, secures No. 2 seed for Shiprock in District 1-4A
The Eagles had a chance to leapfrog Shiprock and snag the No. 2 seed in this week's District 1-4A, ladder-style tourney, but Prep fell 61-58 to Wingate (13-13, 6-0) at home Saturday.
The No. 2 Chieftains (11-15, 3-3), meanwhile, took care of business at the Chieftain Pit Saturday with a 64-40 win over Thoreau.
The Eagles (15-9, 3-3) could have edged SHS by one district win had they tamed the Bears, but they instead have to settle for the No. 3 seed and a home date with No. 4 Thoreau (7-20, 0-7) on Tuesday to determine who moves on to play the Chieftains on Thursday.
The winner of Thursday's match-up at the Chieftain Pit will head to Wingate for a Saturday district championship tilt at 2 p.m.
Jake Newby covers sports for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4577.