No one is quite certain, but the Lady Roadrunners’ win over visiting Winslow Tuesday night may have marked the first time Holbrook has beaten a Lady Bulldog team.
Holbrook came into the game on the heels of two blowout losses in which the Lady Birds struggled shooting the ball. On Tuesday night they jumped out quickly, with seven players scoring through the opening eight minutes, helping the home team to a 22-11 first period lead. In the second Nyomi Yazzie found her stroke from the outside, draining three triples, along with Aaren Billie, who notched one. Holbrook went to the intermission up 36-27.
Winslow came out charging hard in the third period and quickly wiped out Holbrook’s lead, taking a two-point edge going into the final eight minutes. In the fourth Holbrook battled back from a five-point deficit and opened up a four-point lead in the final two minutes. Lady Bulldog Mattea Begaii hit a tough three-point shot late in the game to trim the lead to just two with under 10 seconds left. After Holbrook was fouled, Shantina Kinlicheenie made one of two free throws and the Winslow team watched a desperation three at the buzzer miss the mark, giving Holbrook the 57-54 home court win.
“The girls did a tremendous job. Going into this game we had three key areas we needed to focus on and for the most part, we achieved our goals in each area,” said Coach Greg Perkins.
“This is the first time in recent memory that we haven’t fallen way behind against a Winslow team in the early part of the game. When we actually opened up a double-digit lead early it gave the girls some much needed confidence. Nyomi’s three-point shooting in the second period was big and kept us in front at the half. Also Shantina and Aaren did a good job on the boards late in the game. Jessica (Paz) has really grown up this season and made some big plays down the stretch for us. Cina (Cummings) played one of her better defensive games tonight as well.
“We do need to work on our fourth quarter free throw shooting and ball handling, but those things will come. I am extremely proud of the girls for this win. I know Holbrook hasn’t beaten Winslow in the 18-plus years I have been here, and it was good to see the girls finally get the job done. It came at a time when we really needed it,” said the coach.
Kinlicheenie led the team with 16 points. Yazzie added 11, Kellin Bakurza, 10, Paz, 8, Billie, 7, Cummings, 3, and Kaynasa Curley, 2. Holbrook made six three-point shots and went 15 for 22 at the free throw line.
Winslow was led by Begaii with 14, Felencia Keams added 12, Robin Villanueva, 8, Corey Nez and Taramika Lee, 6 each, Kiersten Nezzie, 4, and Gabby Stacey, 2. Winslow made five three-point shots and converted 11 of 16 free throws.
Winslow 11 16 17 10 54
Holbrook 22 14 6 15 57
After hosting Window Rock on Thursday, the Lady Birds, who are now 16-8, will travel to Ganado on Tuesday, Jan. 31, then finish the regular season at Winslow next Friday.