FARMINGTON — It’s a free-for-all in District 2-5A. Exhilarating, competitive, anxiety-inducing warfare, where every miscue can take a toll.
With the district title and possibly the No. 1 seed at state on the line, every win and loss matters now, as does every bit of outside help one may get in the standings.
“(It’s) anybody’s contest. You’ve got to win some battles, but I hope we’re around for the war to end,” Farmington coach Larenson Henderson said.
Piedra Vista won its first three district games, then lost a nail biter to Farmington. West Mesa lost to PV, but responded with a win over FHS.
La Cueva dropped three of its first four district games, but stayed alive in the district title race after outlasting Farmington on Saturday.
“Every night is a battle in this district. It’s brutal,” La Cueva coach Robert Perea said.
Last Monday, PV was on the verge of establishing solid control atop district (Panthers would’ve had at least a 1 1/2 or two-game lead on everyone had they won), but FHS’s victory forced a three-way tie for first place at the time.
And now, PV (20-3, 4-1), West Mesa (19-1, 3-1), FHS (19-5, 3-2) and La Cueva (17-4, 2-3) are all within two games of each other.
“You have a bunch of good basketball teams in a tough district. You have an off-night, you’re going to get beat, that’s all there is to it,” PV coach Joe Reed said. “La Cueva did us a favor (on Saturday). It’s going to be an exciting finish to district.”
Both PV and Farmington will travel to West Mesa Tuesday and Saturday, respectively. Then comes round 2 between the crosstown rivals on Feb. 22 at Scorpion Arena.
After facing Eldorado on Feb. 16, La Cueva will again duke it out with PV and West Mesa to wrap up regular-season play.
When it comes to the District 2-5A tournament championship game location, which the top district regular-season team will host, the suspense continues.
It’ll come down to the final weekend, if not a district tiebreaker game, to crown the district regular-season champ.
“All these teams are going to be battle-tested going into the state tournament. I guarantee we’ll have four teams in the top-eight. Everyone’s resume is strong,” Reed said.
Eldorado (9-12, 0-5) may be out of the district title race, but it could play spoiler and squash other teams’ chances at it.
All bets are off at this point.
For PV, West Mesa, FHS and La Cueva, it’s on.
Matt Hollinshead covers sports for the Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4577.