Tournament action resumes for many local, area basketball teams

Steven Bortstein
Farmington Daily Times

FARMINGTON − Local and area prep basketball teams have been on the move a lot these past few weeks, with as many as eight teams competing in tournaments not only in New Mexico, but also in neighboring states.

Here's a look at the most recent tournament action, as well as some regular season contests involving San Juan County schools.

Girls basketball

Kirtland Central remains perfect

Competing in the Alice King Invitational at Moriarty High School this week, the Kirtland Central Lady Broncos opened up on Thursday morning with a decisive 50-5 win over Pojoaque Valley.

They followed up that win with a resounding 67-28 second round win on Friday over Bernalillo, advancing the Lady Broncos to the tournament championship game and a showdown against Melrose.

The game against Bernalillo was a rematch of last season's Class 4A championship game played at the Pit in Albuquerque. Kirtland Central won that game handily, earning the team their 20th state championship.

The wins in the Moriarty tournament further keeps the Lady Broncos record intact this season, with an unblemished start to their campaign after seven games.

Aztec falls to Moriarty

Meantime, also competing in the Moriarty tournament, the Aztec Lady Tigers dropped both their opening round game Thursday night, losing to the host team by a final of 38-25. In the second round, the Lady Tigers lost a close contest, falling 41-37 against Goddard.

The losses drop the Lady Tigers to 0-4 on the current season and a consolation round match on Saturday morning.

The Lady Tigers will resume the regular season at Scorpion Arena on Tuesday night when they'll tip off against Farmington.

Shiprock gets back on winning track

The Shiprock Lady Chieftains snapped a three-game losing streak on Thursday night, going on the road and beating Newcomb by a final of 49-29.

The win improves Shiprock's record to 2-4 to start the season. Last week, they went 1-2 in tournament action on their home court at Chieftain Gym, then dropped a contest on the road Tuesday night at Piedra Vista.

Shiprock's Harmony Sells attempts to keep the ball in play against Monument Valley's Shimegua Hudson in the closing minute of the girls semifinal game of the Jerry Richardson Memorial Tournament at the Chieftain Pit on Friday, December 2, 2022.

The Lady Chieftains will be back on the court Thursday in the Ben Lujan Classic, which takes place at Pojoaque Valley High School. Shiprock will face off against Crownpoint in opening round action.

Navajo Prep rolls in first round win over Espanola Valley

Taking part in the Al Armendariz Classic at Capital High School in Santa Fe, the Navajo Prep Lady Eagles got back in the win column with a 49-33 victory on Thursday over Espanola Valley.

Navajo Prep's girls team followed up that performance with a spectacular 61-12 win over Pecos to advance to Saturday night's championship game against Hobbs.

"Not only did we keep them scoreless in the fourth quarter, but we played the entire game without a single foul," said Navajo Prep head coach Rainy Crisp.

Navajo Prep's Kayla Mitchell (30) and Harmony Boone trap and force Monument Valley Utah's Raeni Nez to turn over the ball in the second quarter of the Jerry Richardson Memorial Tournament championship game on Saturday, December 3, 2022 at the Chieftain Pit.

The pair of wins come just a couple days after Farmington handed the Lady Eagles their first loss of the season, beating Navajo Prep at the Eagles Nest by a final of 66-39. The Lady Eagles (6-1) will return to regular season action on Friday, Dec. 16 at home against Escalante.

Lady Scorpions remain unbeaten

The Farmington High Lady Scorpions, one of the top-ranked teams in Class 5A this season, remained unbeaten after a 61-45 win Thursday night over Cleveland in opening round action of the Joe Armijo Albuquerque Academy Tournament.

On Friday, the Lady Scorpions earned their way to their second tournament championship game with a blowout 66-33 win over Mayfield.

Led by strong performances by both Kapiolani Anitielu, who scored a combined 41 points in the two wins, and sister Kamalani Anitielu who dropped 45, including 19 in the win over Mayfield, the Lady Scorpions improved to 8-0 on the season.

The Lady Scorpions will face off Volcano Vista on Saturday night for the tournament championship. The game is a rematch of the Class 5A semifinals from last season which vaulted the Lady Hawks into the title game on their way to a second straight state title.

Meantime, Farmington is one of only four Class 5A schools in the state still with an unbeaten mark this season. They came into the tournament ranked fourth in the state by the NMOT coaches poll, but ranked first in the state by MaxPreps, ahead of Volcano Vista, as well as Centennial and District 2-5A rival Sandia.

Boys basketball

Kirtland Central, Aztec avenge first round losses in Santa Fe

The Kirtland Central High School boys basketball team overcame a first round defeat in the Al Armendariz Classic at Capital High School in Santa Fe with a second round consolation victory.

In Thursday's opening round, the Broncos lost to Pojoaque Valley by a score of 65-40 before coming back on Friday with a resounding consolation bracket win over Tohatchi by a score of 70-44.

"That was a great bounce back win for us," said Broncos coach Brian Dowdy. "An overall really great team win."

The Broncos were led by Satchel Hogue, who dropped 30 points while Jarvis Mullahon, Jr. scored 11 in the win.

Kirtland Central will face off with District 1-4A rival Aztec in a Saturday morning matchup to wrap up play in the tournament.

Aztec reached the third round with a second round comeback win over Grants. The Tigers lost the first round matchup against Espanola Valley by a final of 72-49.

In the victory over Grants, the Tigers trailed at one point by as many as 13 points before rallying for the 67-65 victory, giving them their first win of the current campaign.

"We were resilient in the win," said Aztec head coach Ryan Dee. "Coming from behind was a good motivator."


The Rehoboth Christian boys basketball team have won two of their last three games, and at the same tim, extended Shiprock's losing streak to three in a row after a 65-56 home win Thursday night.

The Lynx improved their record to 3-2 on the season while Shiprock, which opened the season with a pair of back-to-back wins, have lost three straight. The Chieftains will be at home Saturday night to face off against Navajo Prep.

SANDIA PREP 47, Bloomfield 34

The Sandia Prep boys basketball team earned their second straight win and evened their record on the season to 3-3 with an impressive 47-34 win Thursday night at home over Bloomfield.

The Bobcats struggled to score points for much of the night, winding up with their lowest point total of the season after seven games. Their previous lowest scoring game came last week at home against Pojoaque Valley, a game they lost 61-47.

Bloomfield will be home Tuesday night to face off with Farmington.

PIEDRA VISTA 54, Miyamura 52

The Piedra Vista High School boys basketball team earned their first win of the season Friday night, coming from behind to force overtime before slipping past Miyamura 54-52 in second round consolation bracket action in the Cleveland Tournament.

The Panthers, who came into the game with a record of 0-7, trailed by four points heading into the locker room at halftime, but rallied in the third period to lead the Patriots 34-29. Miyamura fought right back to tie the game at 43 as time expired in regulation.

The Panthers, who were blown out by the host Cleveland High School team in Thursday's first round action, rallied in the overtime session to earn the win.

Piedra Vista will resume their regular season schedule at home on Wednesday when they host Bloomfield.