Lady Bobcats' offense breaking free

Matt Hollinshead,
Bloomfield's Brandi Alcantar, No. 22 in blue, drives through the lane and knocks down a jumper against Kirtland Central during the first quarter of Thursday's District 1-5A game at Bronco Arena. The Bobcats, who clinched the District 1-5A title, have stepped up more on offense in their last four games.

BLOOMFIELD – Bloomfield’s offense cranked it up an extra notch in recent games, knowing a District 1-5A title is merely the beginning.

The Lady Bobcats, who officially clinched district after Thursday’s win at Kirtland Central, have been even more proactive setting up well-timed shots, bumping up their scoring totals in the process.

BHS is demonstrating it can come through on top approaching the end, especially in games with added meaning.

Because in the end, the Bobcats eye one thing: the blue trophy. And now they’re primed to make a strong run at it.

Despite averaging just 49.8 points per game in its first 21 contests, BHS (21-4, 8-1) has averaged 58.5 points in its last four games – largely because it seeks that extra shot attempt come the second half.

 “Our offense is definitely creating a lot of open shots. We don’t rush it, and we just look for the open person. It’s pretty balanced between everybody,” senior guard Brandi Alcantar said. “It’s definitely exciting. It definitely shows what we’re made of. It shows we’re not going to back down.”

Bloomfield pulled away from Gallup in the fourth quarter last Saturday, ending the game on a 26-4 run. The Bobcats then overcame a 12-point halftime deficit Thursday at Kirtland and won thanks to a 36-22 second-half run.

 “They never doubt each other. They’re there for one another, and they have trust in one another,” coach Tom Adair said.

Bloomfield's Halle Payne, No. 21 in blue, drives toward the basket against Kirtland Central's Siigrid Lii'bilnaghahi, No. 20 in white, and Candace Patterson (34) during the second quarter of Thursday's District 1-5A game at Bronco Arena. The Bobcats are averaging 58.5 points scored in their last four games.

Multiple players are helping the cause by hitting key shots in the second half, and the Bobcats are stressing good ball movement even more to help set up those open looks.

“If you’re open, you’re going to get the basketball. Every one of our girls are shooting the ball well. We’re rebounding well and doing good on our layups,” Adair said.

Going forward, BHS looks to put an end to committing turnovers that may surface when bolting on the fast break. Bloomfield also looks to be more efficient with off-ball movements, such as having better timing when setting screens.

“We can always improve on the passing. We can always get better shots, take better shots,” senior forward Mattie Waresback said.

Bloomfield hopes to prolong that momentum on the scoring end, especially with the district and state tournaments just days away.

Matt Hollinshead covers sports for the Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4577.