Ledes from the Land of Enchantment

Farmington girls nip Volcano Vista in battle of 5A basketball powers

Volcano Vista’s Storm Nguyen, right, beats Farmington’s Kapiolani Anitielu to a loose ball near Farmington’s basket. (Roberto E. Rosales/Journal)

Starting on Tuesday night, the Farmington High School girls basketball team will turn its attention toward more important matters, like the pursuit of a District 2-5A championship.

But the Scorpions’ final nondistrict tune-up was immensely gratifying.

Junior Kapiolani Anitielu scored a game-high 23 points for visiting Farmington, and that included a tie-breaking layup with 15 seconds remaining as the third-ranked Scorpions beat fourth-ranked Volcano Vista 48-45 on Thursday night.

The Hawks had handed Farmington (15-1) his only loss, 62-56 last month in the final of the Joe Armijo Classic at Albuquerque Academy. The Scorpions very much had that on their mind in meeting No. 2 this season between the Class 5A powers.

“They wanted to come win, and we approach every game as a state championship game,” said first-year Farmington head coach Thomas Adair. “At Academy, we didn’t get to shoot one free throw. (And) it was our fault, we didn’t attack. Tonight, we attacked.”

Sign up for our free Daily Sports Newsletter

Farmington got to the line 15 times Thursday against the Hawks (13-3).

Thursday yielded a close matchup that was tied at 33 as the fourth quarter began.

Farmington appeared on his way to a comfortable win, as it went up 44-35 with 3:15 to go after Kamalani Anitielu’s short bank shot.

“We started pushing the ball more, we started feeling ourselves, and we saw the middle open and we kept shooting,” Kapiolani Anitielu said. Kamalani added 17 points in the victory. Kapiolani scored 11 of her 23 in the final eight minutes for Farmington.

But the Hawks surged back. Lilliana Duncan scored on a mid-range jumper, followed by Taejhuan Hill following up her own miss. Hill also added three free throws to cut the deficit to two at 44-42 with 1:01 showing.

Volcano Vista’s Taejhuan TT Hill, left, gets called for a charge by knocking over Farmington’s Kapiolani Anitielu. (Roberto E. Rosales/Journal)

It was Mari Manzanares, with 35.2 seconds remaining, that pulled Volcano Vista even on two free throws.

But the Scorpions got a clean inside look on the next possession, as Maleah Charlie found Kapiolani Anitielu for the go-ahead, and game-winning, basket.

Volcano Vista still has one nondistrict game this week, against Eldorado on Saturday. The two-time defending state champion Hawks will open District 1-5A play Wednesday against Cleveland. Hill led Volcano Vista with 17 points.

Farmington plays no. 2-ranked Sandia at home on Tuesday in a 2-5A opener.


FARMINGTON (15-1): Kamalani Anitielu 17, Kapiolani Anitielu 23, Kaitlyn John 4, Kjani Anitielu 2, Sariah Valentine 2. Totals 18 FG 10-15 FT 48.

VOLCANO VISTA (13-3): Lilliana Duncan 4, Adriana Zavala 1, Storm Nguyen 3, Mari Manzanares 8, Jade Lovato 2, Mila Espinoza 10, Taejhuan Hill 17. Totals 13 FG 15-25 FT 45.

Farmington 12 8 13 15 — 48

Volcano Vista 11 8 14 12 — 45

3-point goals: F 2 (Kam. Anitielu 2); VV 4 (Espinoza 2, Manzanares, Nguyen). Total fouls: F 19; VV 19. Fouled out: F, Kam. Anitielu, K. Anitielu. Technical: VV, Hill.

Comments are closed.