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Lady Panthers pull ahead in the second half en route to a 53-36 win over Eldorado Saturday in Albuquerque. Lanae Billy also hits the 1,000-point mark. Farmington Daily Times

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PV girls, Prep girls built to win titles now

The Lady Panthers (22-1, 5-0) have their core group back from last year’s state semifinals run, and they’re again flexing their muscles against some of the best teams in the state, including their District 2-5A adversaries.

PV’s not only grinding out wins against the elites, but also beating some of them by sizable margins.

The Lady Eagles (19-2, 7-0) also have state title aspirations following last year’s state semifinals appearance, adamant that Tai Tai Woods can and will get them over the hump.

Prep already has players like Aiona Johnson intact, but Woods brings big-game experience from her time at Shiprock and PV.

The Lady Eagles’ time to win it all is now.

Bloomfield girls back on the map

Nothing’s stopping the Lady Bobcats in their pursuit of March Madness.

They’re now 6-0 in District 1-4A girls basketball action, and they’ve already tacked on signature wins over Goddard, Gallup and Kirtland Central.

Bloomfield squeezed out 13 wins last year amid a serious rebuilding phase after losing the vast majority of its 2018 state finals group to graduation.

Players like Madison Bedonie and Lanay Gutierrez took on larger roles last year, but they’re coming into their own with that extra playing time under their belts.

It’s only been just under two years since the Lady Bobcats hit the hardwood for playoff basketball, but the dramatic change in personnel immediately after a state runner-up campaign makes it feel so long ago.

And now Bloomfield’s inching closer to returning to the playoffs, a setting all too familiar in the Tom Adair era.

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Lady Bobcats hit key shots in the final minutes, holds off the Lady Broncos 53-49 in Thursday's District 1-4A showdown at Bronco Arena in Kirtland. Wochit

Prep boys’ ceiling on defense sky high

The Matt Melvin era of Eagles basketball is still in its infancy, but Prep has the potential to be a force for months and years to come.

Already applying immense pressure in its man and zone schemes, the Eagles’ main staple on defense is stalling shooters in the outer lanes with double-team traps.

That philosophy will pay huge dividends when they’ll face teams that push the ball in transition and set up quick shots that way.

For the time being, it’s proving quite fruitful in Prep’s last three games alone. The Eagles are giving up just 30 points a game during this latest stretch.

Matt Hollinshead covers sports for the Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4577 and on Twitter at @MattH_717.

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