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District hoops season opens with a splash for Lady Scorpions

FARMINGTON − With a number of games being postponed due to weather and travel constraints, the opening days of the district basketball season got off to a slow start earlier this week.

Bloomfield High School's district boys basketball opener Tuesday night at home against Gallup was rescheduled to Wednesday due to poor travel conditions. Kirtland Central's boys team will open its district season on the road at Miyamura on Thursday night after the regularly scheduled Tuesday game was postponed due to inclement weather.

Farmington High School's girls basketball team opened its district run with a flash on Tuesday night, winning at home over Sandia.

Here's a recap of games of games involving San Juan County teams from Tuesday night.

Girls Basketball

FARMINGTON 72, Sandia 62

Farmington High School's Kamalani Anitielu was the center of attention going into Tuesday night's District 2-5A opener at the Scorpion Arena against Sandia. She delivered in spectacular fashion.

The senior standout led all scorers with a season-high 26 points as the Lady Scorpions won their eighth straight game with a 72-62 win over the Lady Matadors. Shortly after the game tipped off in front of a large crowd, Anitielu was honored for becoming one of only six players in the program's history to amass more than 1,000 career points.

Anitielu, who came into Tuesday night's game having reached 1,000 points, was awarded with a plaque and was praised by head coach Tom Adair.

"It is my pleasure to be her coach," said Adair. "Even though she has individual goals, she's never let those get ahead of the goals for the team and wanting to make everyone around her better."

Sandia led the game 36-33 heading into the locker room, thanks to 14 first half points from Sydney Benally and eight more from Audri Wright.

The Lady Scorpions came out strong in the second half, particularly on defense, limiting Sandia to just eight successful field goal attempts. Farmington outscored the Lady Matadors 39-26 in the second half, with 17 of those points coming from Anitielu.

Farmington also got big nights from Kapiolani Anitielu, who scored 18 points while Tinaya Parrish and Kjani Anitielu each scored eight points.

"All the girls did a great job tonight," said Adair. "A lot of the credit goes to the coaches also, who helped make it all possible."

Farmington, ranked second in the state in Class 5A behind Hobbs, improves to 16-1 on the season (1-0 District 2-5A) and will be home Friday at 7 p.m. to face off with West Mesa. The Lady Scorpions have won each of the last seven games against West Mesa dating back to 2020.

ESPANOLA VALLEY 33, Shiprock 24

The Espanola Valley girls basketball team outscored Shiprock 22-8 in the first half on its way to a 33-24 win at the Cheftain Pit in a final non-district game for both teams.

The Lady Sundevils wrap up the non-district schedule with a five game win streak and a record of 8-9 while Shiprock enters the District 1-4A campaign with a five game losing streak and a record of 4-12 on the year.

The Lady Chieftains will be on the road Thursday night to face Aztec. Shiprock has won 17 of 22 meetings against the Lady Tigers, including five of their last seven.

Boys Basketball

SANDIA 79, Farmington 59

The Sandia High School boys basketball team came out strong in the third quarter, outscoring Farmington 27-11 and pulling clear of the Scorpions on the way to a convincing 79-59 home win Tuesday night to open the District 2-5A campaigns for both schools.

Sandia, led by seniors Andrew Hill and Dalen Moyer, picked up its third straight win and improved to 14-3 overall (1-0 District).

The Scorpions trailed by only five points at the break, down 31-26 coming out of the locker room at halftime, but Sandia's offense got going at the right time.

"They just took care of the ball better than we did," said Farmington head coach Larry-Don Chitty. "They have some guys who can really shoot the ball."

Farmington (11-6 overall, 0-1 District) will be on the road Saturday at 2:45 p.m. to tangle with West Mesa. The Scorpions are 4-6 against the Mustangs, having most recently taken two of three games this past season.

ELDORADO 81, Piedra Vista 36

The Eldorado High School boys basketball team recorded a blowout win at home Tuesday night, rolling past Piedra Vista 81-36 to open the District 2-5A campaign for both teams.

The Golden Eagles (11-6 overall, 1-0 District) have won three of their last four games while Piedra Vista drops to 2-15 overall after dropping eight of their last nine contests. The Panthers will be back on the road Friday at 7:30 p.m. to square off with La Cueva. In each of their last eight meetings, the Panthers have never beaten La Cueva and have been outscored by an average of 75-40.

AZTEC 89, Shiprock 83

The Aztec High School boys basketball team opened its District 1-4A campaign at home Tuesday night, outscoring Shiprock 89-83, snapping a three game losing streak and improving their overall record to 4-13 on the season.

The Tigers have won each of the last two games against the Chieftains, who fall to 5-12 overall (0-1 District). Shiprock will look to bounce back on Friday at 7 p.m. at home against Gallup. The Chieftains are 0-11 against the Bengals dating back to 2010.

Aztec will head to Kirtland Central to face the Broncos on Friday at 7 p.m. The Tigers have lost 20 consecutive games to the Broncos dating back to 2011 and have won only seven of 36 games against its district rival.