No. 13 Farmington (10-11, 0-1 District 1-4A) at No. 16 Piedra Vista (12-8, 1-0)
The cross-town rivals are set to face off for the second time this season.
In the earlier meeting, the Scorpions emerged with a victory in the fifth-place game at Roswell’s Poe Corn Invite 53-49 on Dec. 28.
FHS guard Kyle Reynolds led the Scorps with 13 points, but his availability for the contest is unknown after an ankle injury forced him to miss Friday’s game against Kirtland Central.
Alonzo Araiza scored 12 points in the loss for PV.
The Scorps aggressive defense will need to limit Araiza and leading-scorer Troy Dixon’s attempts from 3-point range. The two PV gunners have combined to hit 80 3s this season.
PV will need to keep FHS point guard Alex Whiteley out of the paint, where he’s been able to get opposing teams in foul trouble and find the Scorpion 3-point shooters and FHS forward Max Pinon for open looks.
Whiteley struggled against the length of the KCHS defense, finishing with just three points and four assists.
Prediction: Piedra Vista 55, Farmington 53
No. 25 Aztec (8-12, 0-1) at No. 5 Kirtland Central (14-5, 1-0)
The Broncos dominated the fourth quarter Friday to get a win at Farmington High, while Aztec fell behind early and was unable to comeback against Piedra Vista in their district openers.
If Aztec is to have any chance of pulling out an upset, they’ll need strong defensive performances out of forwards Nick Weaver and Troy Choman against Kirtland’s Christian Mackey.
Mackey comes into the game averaging over 20 points and 10 rebounds per outing, but FHS found some success double and triple teaming him, limiting the Broncos’ leading scorer to just seven points.
The rest of the Broncos capitalized on the open shots, including Reese Foutz who scored a season high 19 points in the win against the Scorps.
The Broncos 3-point shooting has been a key all season. They are hitting 35 percent from beyond the arc as a team and have three players (Bernel Miller, Seldon Watson and Junior Smith) each averaging least one made 3-pointer per game.
Aztec has an interesting mix of size, shooting and athleticism, but it has yet to come together for the Tigers this season, resulting in the team being ranked 25th out of 26 4A squads.
The two teams have played three common opponents this season — Shiprock, Miyamura and Bernalillo. The Tigers lost five meetings with the three schools by an average of 9.4 points. The Broncos won their four meetings by an average of 17.5 points.
Prediction: Kirtland Central 65, Aztec 45