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Farmington boys basketball captures championship in Gallup Invitational


GALLUP − The Farmington High School boys basketball team prepared for the final week of non-district play with a championship run in the Bengals Boys Basketball Invitational Tournament at Gallup High School.

Meanwhile, the Bloomfield High School boys and girls teams enjoyed successful weekends on the road, coming home from tournament action at Cuba High School with championship trophies.

Here's a recap of last weekend's prep basketball action.

Boys basketball

Farmington captures Bengal Invitational Tournament

Cody Vassar-Steen scored 29 points to lead the Farmington High School boys basketball team to its first tournament title of the season on Saturday night with a 74-64 win over Gallup in the Bengal Invitational Tournament at Gallup High School.

Vassar-Steen, who scored 52 points over the course of the two games he played in the tournament, was named to the all-tournament team. Vassar-Steen scored 23 points in Friday night's 70-52 second-round win over Miyamura.

Vassar-Steen missed Thursday's opening game of the tournament with flu-like symptoms, but returned to the lineup in the final two games and had an immediate impact, helping the Scorpions extend their current win streak to five with the all-important district portion of their schedule set to begin in a week.

"Obviously, everything goes a little more smoothly when (Vassar-Steen) is out there," said head coach Larry-Don Chitty. "It was nice to have him back for sure."

Vassar-Steen joined teammate Caden Granger on the all-tournament team. Trel Griego, who scored 16 points in Saturday's title game, along with 17 points in Friday's win over Miyamura and 24 points in Thursday's opening-round game over Sandia Prep, was named the tournament's most valuable player.

The victory also gives the Scorpions their first tournament title of the season after coming up short last month in the Marv Sanders Memorial Invitational Tournament, and most recently in the Hobbs Holiday Tournament.

"I'm really proud of our guys winning a great tournament," Chitty said. "We played probably our most complete game of the year tonight."

The Scorpions (10-5) will face Miyamura again on Tuesday as they travel for their final non-district game of the season. The following week, District 2-5A play will get underway when Farmington visits Sandia.

NAVAJO PREP 40, Miyamura 30

The Navajo Prep boys basketball team secured the third-place prize in the Gallup Invitational, beating Miyamura 40-30 on Saturday at Gallup High School.

The Eagles knocked off Grants in the opening round on Friday before losing in the second round, 54-48, to the host team.

Navajo Prep exits the tournament with an overall record of 11-2 and will open their District 1-3A campaign on the road Tuesday night against Tohatchi.

Bloomfield brings home top prize in Cuba Invite

The Bloomfield High School boys basketball team had little trouble this past weekend taking home the championship in the Cuba Basketball Invitational, winning Saturday's championship game by a final of 64-36 over the host team.

The Bobcats earned their way into the championship game with an 85-34 win Friday night over the host school's junior varsity squad.

Prior to that, the Bobcats won their first-round clash against Springer with an impressive 69-41 triumph. Their three tournament wins over the weekend saw Bloomfield average more than 72 points per game and post an average margin of victory of more than 35 points.

The Bobcats improved to 8-4 on the season while earning their fourth straight win on Saturday. Bloomfield will be back on the road Tuesday night to face off with Durango.

KIRTLAND CENTRAL 62, Piedra Vista 25

Satchel Hogue scored 28 points for the Kirtland Central High School boys basketball team as they rolled to an impressive home victory on Friday night, beating Piedra Vista by a final of 62-25.

The victory improves the Broncos' record on the season to 8-6, while earning their second win from their last three games.

Elijah Grey also led the Broncos offensive effort with 10 points in the win.

Kirtland Central prepares to wrap up its non-district schedule this week with home game against Espanola Valley on Tuesday night, followed by a Saturday afternoon game against Thoreau.

Girls basketball

Bloomfield girls roll to tournament title

The Bloomfield High School girls basketball team earned a championship trophy Saturday night, winning the Cuba High Girls Basketball Invitational with an impressive 57-36 win over the host school.

The Lady Bobcats earned their spot in the finals with a 52-24 second round victory on Friday over Jemez Valley.

The win improved Bloomfield's record to 8-3 on the season as they extend their current win streak to four straight games. The Lady Bobcats will host Durango on Tuesday night.

FARMINGTON 73, Shiprock 18

The Farmington High School girls basketball team rolled to an impressive 73-18 blowout win at home Saturday over Shiprock, giving the Lady Scorpions their fifth straight win.

Kjani Anitielu led Farmington with 13 points, while sister Kapiolani Anitielu scored 12 points in the win.

"We played great defense tonight," said Farmington head coach Tom Adair. "That's been a big improvement for us all week now is the way the girls have really stepped up on defense."

The Lady Scorpions have won their last five games by a combined margin of 317-144, with an average margin of victory of more than 34 points.

Farmington (13-1) will be home on Monday night to face Miyamura before going on the road on Thursday for their second showdown this season against Volcano Vista. The Lady Hawks handed Farmington their only loss on the season. Last year, Volcano Vista eliminated the Lady Scorpions from the Class 5A state basketball tournament in the semifinals on their way to the state championship.

KIRTLAND CENTRAL 54, Tohatchi 27

The Kirtland Central girls basketball team rebounded nicely off their first loss of the season earlier in the week, going on the road to knock off Tohatchi 54-27 on Saturday night.

The defending Class 4A champion Lady Broncos had their hopes of a perfect season dashed last Tuesday night at home, losing to Farmington and ending a 13-game win streak. Still ranked atop the latest Class 4A polls in the state, Kirtland Central has one more non-district game remaining on its schedule, Thursday night on the road against third-ranked Valencia.

Despite their impressive record on the season, Kirtland Central head coach Devon Manning still wants to challenge his squad to step up their game before the all-important district campaign opens next week.

“Up until (the Farmington game), I thought we answered some challenges that we had, but we still have a long ways to go," Manning said. “Right now, we didn’t play like a team that could win a state championship."