Top-ranked girls hoops teams remain perfect during district campaigns

Steven Bortstein
Farmington Daily Times

FARMINGTON − The district basketball season has proven to be no trouble so far for the Farmington High School girls team, which romped at home on Friday night over West Mesa.

Meantime, both Navajo Prep's and Kirtland Central's girls basketball squads earned district wins on Saturday, extending their own win streaks and remaining atop the polls in their respective classifications.

Here's a glance at some of the top matchups in prep basketball over the weekend.

Girls Basketball

FARMINGTON 78, West Mesa 38

The Farmington Lady Scorpions extended their current win streak to nine straight games while improving to 2-0 in District 2-5A after a 78-38 romp over West Mesa on Friday night at Scorpion Arena.

The Lady Scorpions wasted little time establishing dominance over the Lady Mustangs, using an aggressive backcourt defense to create multiple turnovers which resulted in easy baskets in the first half.

The Anitielu sisters, led by junior Kapiolani, who scored 20 first half points, combined for all but two of the Lady Scorpions points when the teams went into the locker room with Farmington leading 44-18.

"I'm super proud of the team tonight," said Farmington head coach Tom Adair. "Our defense was outstanding. We just need to keep getting better."

Farmington's Kapiolani Anitielu puts up a three-pointer over the outstretched arm of West Mesa's Marsai Martinez in the first quarter of their district basketball game, Friday, Jan. 20, 2023 at Scorpion Arena.

Kapiolani Anitielu led all scorers with 28 points on the night, while Kamalani scored 22 before both went to the bench late in the third quarter. Ayana Toledo scored seven points while Tinaya Parrish scored six in a winning effort. West Mesa was led by Kiana Sandoval, who scored 11 points on the night.

Adair was also quick to point out his coaching staff, which has kept the team focused on getting through the district portion of the schedule as the postseason looms in the distance.

"These coaches have been so good to me and this team," said Adair of coaches Celeste King-Dale, Randy Crockett and Karyn Austin. "They've all done such a great job this season."

The second-ranked Lady Scorpions improve to 17-1 on the season (2-0 District) and will be on the road Tuesday night to face Eldorado.


The top-ranked Kirtland Central High School girls basketball team jumped out to a commanding early lead at home on Saturday night on their way to a 52-16 win over Aztec.

The defending Class 4A state champions and top-ranked team in the state at the classification according to both MaxPreps and the latest coaches poll, the Lady Broncos led 25-6 at the end of the first quarter. They then outscored the Lady Tigers 27-10 over the course of the next three frames.

Kirtland Central improves to 17-1 (2-0 District 1-4A) on the season, having won four straight. They'll be home on Thursday night to face Bloomfield, a team which they've beaten 23 times in 27 matchups dating back to 2006.

Aztec falls to 6-12 on the season (1-1 District) and will be home Thursday night when they face off against Gallup. The Lady Tigers have lost each of their last 10 games against Gallup dating back to 2018.

NAVAJO PREP 52, Tohatchi 40

After a shaky first half in which they nearly surrendered a double-digit lead, the Navajo Prep girls basketball team came out strong in the second half, beating Tohatchi 52-40 in front of a sold out crowd at the Eagles Nest on Saturday afternoon.

The Lady Eagles got off to a slow start on offense early in the first quarter before going on a 14-0 run towards the end of the frame. The offense struggled to convert from the floor for much of the second quarter and went into the locker room nursing a slim 19-17 advantage.

"It's always a game when we play Tohatchi," said Lady Eagles head coach Rainy Crisp. "They did a good job putting pressure defense on us and we turned the ball over."

Tohatchi's Brooke Badonie looks to the basket while being guarded by Navajo Prep's Lailah McGary during the first quarter of a district basketball game, Saturday, Jan. 21, 2023 at the Eagles Nest.

Navajo Prep, the top-ranked Class 3A team in the state according to MaxPreps, came out strong in the second half, outscoring the Lady Cougars 33-23 and earned their fifth straight win, improving to 13-3 on the season (2-0 District 1-3A). The Lady Eagles have won 10 of their last 11 meetings against Tohatchi dating back to 2019.

"My girls haven't played a great game yet," Crisp said. "But we're doing enough to win games. I can't wait to see them reach their potential as a team."

Navajo Prep will look to keep their win streak intact on Monday night when they visit Thoreau in the first of three games in the span of five days next week. The Lady Eagles have dominated the Lady Hawks of late, having won 15 of their last 17 meetings dating back to 2014.

LA CUEVA 61, Piedra Vista 32

The La Cueva High School girls basketball team overpowered Piedra Vista in the second half of their district matchup Friday night at the Jerry A. Conner Fieldhouse, outscoring the Lady Panthers 40-16 in the final two quarters on their way to a 61-32 win.

The Lady Bears, led by junior Eva Love and freshman Jordyn Dyer went into the break with only a five-point advantage at the half, leading 21-16. But while Piedra Vista's shooting went cold in the second half, La Cueva got busy, earning their fifth straight win and improving their overall record to 13-5 (2-0 District 2-5A).

Piedra Vista, 6-12 overall and 0-2 in district play this season, were led by Emily Beyale's 11 points and Tyra Holyan, who scored 10 on the night.

The Lady Panthers have a pair of road games this week, beginning Tuesday night at West Mesa. Piedra Vista has won five of their last six meetings against the Lady Mustangs.

BLOOMFIELD 54, Miyamura 43

The Bloomfield High School girls basketball team bounced back to their winning ways on Saturday, earning their first win of the District 1-4A season by winning on the road over Miyamura by a final of 54-43.

The Lady Bobcats, coming off a blowout loss earlier in the week at Gallup, rebounded nicely to improve their record on the season to 11-6 (1-1 District). Miyamura has lost four in a row and fall to 3-14 on the season.

Bloomfield will visit top-ranked Kirtland Central on Thursday.

Boys Basketball

WEST MESA 55, Farmington 54 (OT)

The West Mesa High School boys basketball team improved to 2-0 in District 2-5A play, slipping past Farmington 55-54 in overtime Saturday at West Mesa High School.

The Scorpions were led by Cody Vassar-Steen, who scored 18 points on the night, as well as Landon Begay with nine points.

"We have to win games like these or none of it matters, but I was real proud of our guys tonight," said Scorpions coach Larry-Don Chitty. "It was easily our best game of the year."

The Mustangs two district victories have each come about by one point. Earlier last week, West Mesa opened the district campaign with a 67-66 win over La Cueva. Ranked fifth in the state at Class 5A, West Mesa improves to 14-4 and will be on the road Wednesday night when they visit Piedra Vista.

Farmington drops their second straight district game, having lost earlier in the week to Sandia. The Scorpions (11-7 overall) will be home Tuesday night to face Eldorado, a team they've only beaten once in nine previous meetings.

LA CUEVA 71, Piedra Vista 32

The La Cueva High School boys basketball team snapped a two-game losing streak while earning their first District 2-5A victory Friday night at home, rolling over Piedra Vista by a final of 71-32.

The Bears jumped on the Panthers early, leading 26-4 at the end of the first quarter and heading into the locker room with a 44-11 lead at the halftime break.

La Cueva opened their district campaign earlier in the week with a narrow 67-66 loss at West Mesa. Friday's win improves their record to 11-7 on the season (1-1 District). Piedra Vista has lost nine of their last 10 games and fall to 2-16 overall (0-2 District). The Panthers lost their district opener earlier in the week by a margin of 81-36 on the road at Eldorado.

Piedra Vista will host West Mesa on Wednesday night. The Panthers are 2-6 against the Mustangs dating back to 2019 and have lost each of their last six meetings.

BLOOMFIELD 51, Miyamura 37

The Bloomfield High School basketball team opened their district campaign with a win at home on Saturday, putting away Miyamura by a final of 51-37.

The District 1-4A season got off to a bit of a slow start for the Bobcats, who were forced to postpone their originally scheduled district opener against Gallup earlier in the week due to wintry conditions. The Bobcats entered the district portion of their schedule involved in a three-way scramble atop the overall standings with Kirtland Central and Gallup, separated by only 1 1/2 games.

Saturday's win snapped a three-game losing streak for the Bobcats, who improve to 10-7 this season before a home game on Monday against Gallup. The Bengals have won 13 of their last 14 games against Bloomfield dating back to 2016.