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Gallup boys beat Bloomfield, 60-45

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Gallup dominates game on defense

The Gallup Bengals started slow on offense, but kept the defensive pressure on the Bloomfield Bobcats for long periods of time and came away with a 60-45 decision Jan. 23 in a boys 5A conference game played at Gallup High School.

The Bengals (12-7, 3-0) are in the midst of district play, having started Jan. 16 with a 61-47 home win against Farmington (7-12, 2-1).

Tuesday’s game saw five turnovers in the first six minutes, thanks to some heady defense by both teams. The Bengals went ahead, though, by the score of 4-0 on shots by senior forward Zakarri Fields and sophomore shooting guard Quincy Smith. Bloomfield (6-14, 1-2), challenged Gallup throughout the first quarter, but couldn’t get shots to fall and the Bengals won the quarter, 19-9.

There weren’t points on the board in the contest until about eight minutes had come off of the game clock.

The Second Quarter

The second quarter began with senior Bloomfield big man Jaime Duhon getting a lot more aggressive on offense and defense for the Bobcats. At 6-feet-6-inches tall, Duhon was clearly the tallest player on the court. The versatile Duhan attempted shots mostly from the inside, but at times squared up for some short and long jumpers. Still, the Gallup trap defense was everywhere and the Bobcats weren’t able to hit shots.

“They played very good defense in the opening two quarters,” Bloomfield head coach Randy Crockett said. “We missed some shots, but there were a lot of early turnovers because each team was swarming on defense.”

Fields hit a 3-pointer to start the second quarter. He then got a rebound off of a shot by junior guard Tyrell Begay and the Bengals were suddenly up 27-12. The game continued to proceed at a slow pace, but Gallup had the momentum going due to the fact that it was a home game and the Bengals were hitting shots and hustling on both ends of the court. When the Bengals went cold, which was rare, sophomore forward Johnny Blueeyes, Begay and Fields were ferociously crashing the boards and keeping scoring and fast break opportunities away from Bloomfield.

“Get back, get back,” Gallup head coach James Voight consistently told players on the defensive side. “Watch the cuts, look out for the cuts.”

The Third/Fourth Quarters

The third quarter started slow for both teams. Fields put down 10 points in the first half and that included 3 3-point shots. Both teams recorded 6 team fouls at the close of the first half.

Duhon and junior guard Rogelio Gonzales tried to work some pick and rolls, but the Gallup defense was there to prevent things. Meanwhile, Smith and junior forward Josh Lynch were running back-to-back give and go’s. The last play put the Bengals up 37-26 and Gallup never looked back.

A 45-32 lead by Gallup heading into the fourth quarter allowed Voight to play reserves. Begay was still terrorizing the Bobcats on the offensive boards and Fields was moving and cutting on offense.

Fields finished with 16 points and Josh Lynch scored 11. For the Bobcats, Duhon scored 15 and was the sole Bobcat player in double figures.

By Bernie Dotson
For the Sun