By Sam Conner –
The Holbrook Lady Roadrunners came from behind to defeat the Winslow Lady Bulldogs 57-53 in an Arizona 3A Conference State Tournament game played in Winslow last Friday. The win ousted Winslow from the tournament and ended the Lady Bulldogs’ season with a 16-14 record. Holbrook advanced to the second round on Monday in Prescott against Monument Valley, a 58-31 winner over Round Valley in Kay-enta. Holbrook took an 18-11 record into the quarterfinals.
Winslow led from the first moments until nearly half of the fourth quarter was over. The Lady Roadrun-ners got their first lead of the game 46-43 with just 4:19 left to play. The Lady Bulldogs had led 16-11 after the first quarter and a comfortable 31-22 at the half, but Holbrook had cut the margin to two at 37-35 at the end of the third quarter. The game was tied for the first time since the opening period at 43-43 with 4:40 left in the game. Holbrook’s biggest lead was just four points, the final margin of victory.
Kellin Bakurza paced the Lady Roadrunners with 25 points to lead all scorers. Nyomi Yazzie scored nine points for Holbrook.
Gabby Stacey led Winslow with 14 points. Taramika Lee was also in double figures for the Lady Bull-dogs with 10 points. Haley Hayes and Mattea Begaii both scored nine for Winslow, and Robina Villanueva tallied eight points.
Holbrook 11 11 13 22 57
Winslow 16 15 6 16 53
Holbrook: Shantina Kinlecheenie 3, Nyomi Yazzie 9, Aaren Billie 3, Kellin Bakurza 25, Kaynasa Curley 3, Col’bi Nez 2, Jessica Paz 3, Cina Cummings 7 and Charmayne Freddie 2.
Winslow: Gabby Stacey 14, Mattea Begaii 9, Felencia Keams 3, Taramika Lee 10, Robina Villanueva 8 and Haley Hayes 9.
“This was another big landmark win for this program. Not only beating Winslow on their home court, but doing it in the state playoffs just shows how much these girls have grown. When we got down by ten in the third, we made a defensive change and the girls really responded. Our defensive intensity, which had been good all night, really picked up and we were able to turn our steals into points,” said Holbrook Coach Greg Perkins. “Winslow has a good program, as well, and Jerron has done a great job, but in the end our girls really came through.
“Kellin Bakurza had the best game of her career, scoring 25 points. She was hitting from inside and out and also went eighth for eight at the line. Nyomi struggled in the first half, but came through strong in the end of the game with nine. Cina was aggressive with the ball, which we had worked on, and she also played solid defense. Aaren and Shantina didn’t score like they usually do, but they were critical on defense, help-ing keep Winslow off the three-point line and off the glass.
“Our sophomores, Jessica, Col’bi, Kaynasa and Samantha, all gave us valuable minutes and were key to this win, which really makes our future look very bright,” said Coach Perkins.
The other three 3A North Region teams in the state tournament all won their first round games. Window Rock defeated River Valley easily, 65-15. Chinle defeated Florence 57-50 at Florence, and Tuba City bested Sedona Red Rock, 69-43. At least two teams from the region will have lost at Prescott on Monday, as Hol-brook met Monument Valley and Tuba City met Chinle. The winners of those games will meet in the semi-final round on Friday, Feb. 25, at Glendale Arena. Top ranked Window Rock was to play Snowflake at Prescott on Tuesday, as Snowflake defeated Coolidge 68-46 at Snowflake.
In games not involving a 3A North Region team, Safford defeated Alchesay 62-45 and was to meet Estrella Foothills on Tuesday, as the Lady Wolves defeated Fountain Hills, 61-46.