Talon News - Good Local News



December 14, 2018

#3 Gabe Wood Shows Ball-Handling Skills.-PHOTO-TALON

by David Edward Albright, TALON

A raucous crowd packed Scorpion Arena at Farmington High, Thursday, December 6, 2018 for the match-up between San Juan County rivals, 4-A Aztec and 5-A Farmington. The Marv Sanders Tournament, attended by the long-time Farmington coach, gave the teams a chance to show everyone where they're at---early in the 2018-19 season.

The Tigers scored quick on a three point baseline shot after controlling the ball at tip-off. But the ferocious full-court Scorpion press caused two quick turnovers and seemed to set the tone for the game. The Scorps, with their hounding defense, had their share of fouls but the young Aztec team suffered from very poor shooting at the line. Tiger Coach Matt Steinfeldt took an early time-out with 6:27 on the clock to regroup and strategize how to break the Farmington press.

Sharp Scorpion passing penetrated the Tigers zone defense, allowing them to get the ball inside and often back out to the perimeter for good looks at the basket. They made their shots count often on their home court. Farmington's double-team press confounded the Tigers and caused numerous errant passes---and then---easy Scorpion lay-ups. Wood hit a long three-point shot near the end of the first quarter to keep pace but Farmington responded with their own three. Highly- vocal Farmington Coach Matt Hollinshead, paced the coaches box constantly prodding his team. He got a warning early in the game followed by a technical foul in the fourth quarter.

The Scorps hit a long three-pointer right at the first quarter buzzer to open a lead of 20-9. The second quarter sent the Tigers deeper into the Scorps pit---due to more turnovers and weak shooting from the field and at the line. The speed and steady push by Farmington gave them a dominating halftime 42-19 lead. The sharp-shooting by Farmington continued with another three---to open the third quarter. Aztec was stifled with their only score, a free throw by Wood near the end of the 53-20 third period.

In the fourth quarter Aztec's leader, point-guard Gabe Wood, showed his ability to drive to the basket and score. The final score, 71-27, was a stinging loss for the Tigers, but every player gained valuable experience against a very tough non-conference opponent.

On Friday afternoon, the Tigers rebounded strong---from the Farmington defeat---by outscoring Durango, 55-38. The Tigers fell to Piedra Vista, 52-38, on Saturday afternoon, knocking them out of the tournament.

On Tuesday, December 11, Aztec traveled to Taos for a non-conference game, but suffered their fourth loss of the season, 68-60. They go to Farmington on December 20, at 7 pm, to seek revenge for a season opener loss to Navajo Prep.


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