Prep basketball: Farmington's balance, defense are too much for Eldorado despite Hines' big game - Albuquerque Journal

Prep basketball: Farmington’s balance, defense are too much for Eldorado despite Hines’ big game

Eldorado’s Bella Hines (3) dribbles against Farmington’s Skye Teasyatwho (center) and a teammate during the Scorpions’ 62-54 win over the host Eagles Tuesday night. (Adolphe Pierre-Louis/Journal)

Despite the best efforts of Bella Hines, Farmington had a little bit too much for Eldorado on Tuesday night.

Four players scored in double figures for the Scorpions (18-1, 3-0 2-5A) as they pulled away for a 62-54 victory over the Eagles (8-9, 1-2) at Eldorado. Hines, the Eagles’ standout sophomore guard, had a game-high 37 points, but her team struggled to find other scoring options down the stretch.

Scorpions coach Thomas Adair expected that Eldorado would be a tougher matchup than its record indicated, and the Eagles delivered in that regard.

“We did what we needed to do to win the game, but I give a lot of credit to Eldorado. They’re a good team. People don’t know how good they are,” Adair said. “They’re just getting better as the season goes along, so they’re a scary team.”

Farmington entered the fourth quarter with a 43-42 lead before using an 8-0 run to find some breathing room. The Scorpions led by as many as 10 and Eldorado would get no closer than six as the Eagles appeared to wear down in the waning moments.

Eldorado fell behind 8-0 to begin the game and didn’t score until a Hines three-point play at the 2:56 mark of the first quarter. Once they found their footing, the Eagles gave Farmington everything it could handle. Eldorado led 24-23 late in the first half and led 31-25 early in the third quarter.

Every time the Eagles seemed to be building momentum, however, the Scorpions had an answer thanks to a balanced offense. That effort was spearheaded by the three Anitielu sisters: Kapiolani (20 points), Kamalani (12) and Kjani (10). While those three typically score in double figures, Adair praised senior forward Tinaya Parrish, who added 14 points. Her contributions were especially critical since Kamalani Anitielu picked up four fouls in the first half.

“She’s a senior leader,” Adair said of Parrish. “When we get another player that can step up and score like that, that’s big.”

Hines, who was offered a scholarship by UNM early in her freshman year, consistently drove into the teeth of the Farmington defense, scoring in the paint and earning opportunities at the foul line. Junior forward Chioma Holyfield chipped in with 11 points and Addison Arndt banked in a pair of 3s for Eldorado. But all too often, the Eldorado attack broke down when Hines didn’t have the ball, as the scrappy Scorpions consistently deflected passes, harrassed dribblers and created turnovers.

“We really work on that,” Adair said. “We work on keeping our hands in the passing lane. We pride ourselves on playing good man. Our man defense kind of won the game for us tonight.”

FARMINGTON 62, ELDORADO 54

FARMINGTON (18-1): Kamalani Anitielu 12, Tinaya Parrish 13, Kapiolani Anitielu 20, Kjani Anitielu 10, Maleah Charlie 3, Ayana Toledo 4. 23-FG 12-18-FT 64

ELDORADO (8-9): Bella Hines 37, Chioma Holyfield 11, Addison Arndt 6. 18-FG 15-21-FT 54

Farmington 10 15 18 19—62

Eldorado 9 15 18 12—54

3-point goals: F 4 (Kamalani Anitielu, Kapiolani Anitielu, Kijani Anitielu, Charlie); E 3 (Hines, Arndt). Total Fouls: F 20; E 15. Fouled Out: F, Kamalani Anitielu, Kaitlyn John.

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