Boys basketball first-round playoff games to watch

The Daily Times staff
Navajo Prep's Thomas Montanez drives toward the basket against Tohatchi's Justin Leonard during the District 1-3A tournament semifinals on Thursday, Feb. 28 at the Eagles Nest in Farmington. Prep will host Dexter in the first round of the 3A state playoffs.

Navajo Prep vs. Dexter, 2 p.m. Saturday

The Eagles (19-8) eye a deep playoff run this month, and it’s more than just because they’re built to win now. 

Coach Rick Hoerner’s departing after the season, and Prep wants to have the foundation set to go for Hoerner’s successor.

Prep will face a Demons squad that’s been on a roll since late December, winning 13 of its last 15 games entering the 3A playoffs. 

Dexter (16-11) is often intercepting passes down the inner lanes for easy transition scoring chances, and DHS also drives in from the far edges of the wing.

McCurdy vs. Escalante, 6 p.m. Saturday

If Newcomb (26-2) beats Tse’ Yi’ Gai in Saturday’s 2A playoff opener, the Skyhawks will face the McCurdy/Escalante winner in next Wednesday’s 2A quarterfinals in Rio Rancho. And taking on either one would be a tall order for Newcomb.

Escalante (20-9) has won 16 of its last 18 games overall, while McCurdy (22-5) is riding a 10-game win-streak entering the 2A playoffs. 

The winner of this one could very well change the trajectory of not only Newcomb’s state title hopes, but also the rest of the higher seeds.