Kirtland Central’s Shamika Benally (23) passes the ball under the basket at the girls’ basketball game against Shiprock during the Lady Bronco
Kirtland Central's Shamika Benally (23) passes the ball under the basket at the girls' basketball game against Shiprock during the Lady Bronco Invite on Saturday at Kirtland Central High School. (Jon Austria — The Daily Times)
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KIRTLAND — There was never a doubt which team would win the Webb-Toyota Lady Bronco Invite.

Shiprock held Kirtland Central without a point for a 13-minute stretch on its way to a 70-28 win on Saturday in Kirtland.

"Kids are unpredictable sometimes. They'll do amazing things out here that make you look pretty good," Shiprock head coach Larenson Henderson said. "They're understanding what we want to do defensively."

After taking a 19-5 lead at the end of the first quarter, the Lady Chieftains (16-0) shut out the Lady Broncos (5-10) in the second quarter, holding KCHS to 0-for-5 from the field and forcing 14 turnovers. Shiprock took a 38-5 lead into the locker room.

"We just came out on our heels," said KCHS coach Rochelle Curry. "We didn't come out and attack. A team like that will expose your weaknesses. We just didn't play as a team and come out as aggressive as we should have."

With a running clock for most of the second half, KCHS played a more competitive final 16 minutes, but Shiprock had already locked up its fourth win against the Lady Broncos this season.

All 11 Lady Chiefs scored in the victory, led by Ashley John who had 10 points. Seven Shiprock players had at least six points.

"We talk every day in practice about being unselfish," Henderson said. "Last year in the state tournament, we were selfish, and I told them if they want to change this year, that's the way we need to play.

Despite the loss, Curry viewed the tournament as a success after picking up two wins in the first two days as the Lady Broncos look to get ready for a home game with Miyamura on Thursday.

"It's a matter of learning from our losses," Curry said. "Our kids matured a lot, and there a lot of positives."

Shiprock will head to the Hope Christian Invitational next week, opening with Hot Springs on Thursday, but strong opponents lie ahead with the possibility of playing 4A defending champion Los Lunas on Friday and No. 3 Hope Christian on Saturday.

"We're excited to get that competition," Henderson said. "We need to have that competition and get in a fight with someone."

Taylor Henderson was named tournament MVP, and Tanisha Begay was named to the all-tournament team for Shiprock. Keeshawna Ockerman earned all-tournament honors for KCHS.

In the third-place game, Belen defeated Grants 49-47.

Farmington 41, Ignacio, Colo., 30

The Lady Scorpions earned their second victory of the tournament by defeating the Lady Bobcats in the fifth-place game.

"It's definitely good to get two wins in a row going into next week," FHS head coach Danny Secrest said.

After a tight first quarter, FHS (8-8) went a 10-0 run to begin the second quarter, opening up a 20-12 lead that they'd never relinquish.

Kirtland Central’s Aubri Blueeyes (22) dives for the loose ball against Shiprock during the Lady Bronco Invite on Saturday at Kirtland Central High
Kirtland Central's Aubri Blueeyes (22) dives for the loose ball against Shiprock during the Lady Bronco Invite on Saturday at Kirtland Central High School. (Jon Austria — The Daily Times)

"I thought we did well pushing the ball up the floor," Secrest said.

Ignacio (2-7) cut the Lady Scorps' lead down to four or five points on multiple occasions, but FHS maintained control on its way to the 11-point victory.

"I think we're learning to take care of the ball," Secrest said.

Brighton Clah led FHS with nine points in the win.

Tanisha Beetso was named to the all-tournament team for FHS.

This was the second time the Lady Scorps defeated Ignacio this season.

FHS will be in action again on Tuesday against Bloomfield on road.

Fruita Monument, Colo., 55, Bloomfield 31

Bloomfield (3-9) hung close for about two and a half quarters but eventually ran out of gas against Fruita Monument (4-9) in the seventh-place game.

"I had two starters on the bench, but we battled," Bloomfield head coach Tom Adair said. "I was real proud of the girls. We were able to cut it to one there in the third and gave ourselves an opportunity. We just got a little tired there at the end."

Jasmine Sappington led the Lady Bobcats with 16 points.

Bloomfield's next game will be on Tuesday against FHS.

It will be the first meeting between the two schools this season.

"Every time we go out on the floor, we need to think we can win," Adair said. "That's the mentality we want to have no matter who we're playing."

Piedra Vista 46, Durango, Colo., 34

The Lady Panthers (8-6) dominated Durango (2-6) throughout the contest on their way to a 12-point win.

"We handled the press finally," PV head coach Joe Reed said. "We're learning slowly but surely. We attacked and scored easy baskets."

PV hit 15-of-20 from the free-throw line as a team in the victory.

The Lady Panthers used a strong first half to build a 15-point lead, taking a 26-11 advantage in the break.

"Our defense was electric in the first half," Reed said. "We just played solid man defense and boxed out."

Rytisha Brown led PV with 16 points, and Kieyoomia Benally scored 10 more in the win.

The Lady Panthers face a tough road trip ahead next beginning with Grants on Tuesday and followed by Gallup on Thursday and Santa Fe Indian on Saturday.

Joshua Perry covers sports for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4577 or Follow him on Twitter @jperrysuu.