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Scorps claim 1-5A crown with 84-66 win over KC

Farmington led from wire to wire in the victory, now awaits state tournament assignment

Karl Schneider
kschneider@daily-times.com

FARMINGTON — The Farmington boys basketball team has proven itself the dominant program in District 1-5A, winning the regular-season and district tourney crowns for the second year in a row.

Farmington's Sol Rascon scores a transition layup against Kirtland Central during the District 1-5A tournament final on Saturday at Scorpion Gym.

The Scorps led Kirtland Central wire to wire for an 84-66 victory in the district tourney championship game in front of a packed house tonight at Scorpion Gym.

With the tourney title on the line and a few thousand eyes focused on the game, Farmington players never let the pressure and intensity of the moment get to them by draining shot after shot on the way to a 24-9 lead at the end of the first quarter.

"That was the game plan. We wanted to come out and attack them to try to get them on their heels early," Farmington coach Paul Corley said. "We had a great crowd, and the kids fed off the energy of the crowd. We had a great start, and I thought we controlled the tempo the whole game."

While the Scorps were under control from the start, the Broncos couldn't get anything going. KC coach Brian Dowdy went to his bench early and often in the first quarter, sending all 12 players listed on tonight's roster into the game in hopes that someone could provide a spark.

Kirtland Central's Jariah Setzer shoots a 3-pointer against Farmington during the District 1-5A tournament final on Saturday at Scorpion Gym.

"I honestly don't know what it was. They seemed really focused and were excited about the crowd — I don't know what it was about the first quarter," Dowdy said. "We went brain dead. We started blowing assignments on offense and defense, and I think that was part of why we were missing shots. We were just in the wrong spots."

Farmington held a double-digit lead for most of the second quarter and took a 38-25 lead into halftime.

The Scorps started the third quarter on fire and built their lead to 46-28 in the first two and a half minutes of action.

But the Broncos didn't go away. They cut the deficit to single digits on a couple of occasions in the quarter, but each time Farmington's Nick Granger answered with a big play.

First, when KC cut it to 49-40 with 3:45 left, Granger attacked the basket and converted an and-one play to push the lead back to 12. Then, with about two minutes left in the quarter, KC got it to 52-44 before Granger drained a 3-pointer from the left corner.

Farmington's Kody Becenti, left, and Keaton Christy celebrate after a basket during the District 1-5A tournament final on Saturday at Scorpion Gym.

Farmington carried a 60-48 lead into the fourth quarter and never let KC close enough to threaten the lead.

Farmington is guaranteed a spot in the 5A state tourney with the district title, and KC is a lock to receive an at-large bid when the brackets are released Sunday afternoon with the first round of games taking place next weekend.

"We watched the trophy presentation to be good sports because that's what we do, but I also wanted to stay out there a little longer because I want it burned in the boys' heads and in their memory to use it as motivation for next Saturday," Dowdy said. "I told them (the Broncos) that I feel sorry for whoever lines up against us next Saturday because we're going to take it out on them."

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