The Lady Roadrunners of Holbrook saw their season come to a close in the second round of the 3A State tournament on Monday afternoon in Prescott Valley. Holbrook earned a trip to the quarterfinals for the first time in several years with a close win over Winslow in round one, but facing third ranked Monument Valley was too much to overcome. This was the fourth meeting of the season for these two teams, with the Lady Mustangs winning all four contests.
Monument opened up a seven-point lead at the end of the first period and maintained that margin at the half.
In the third Holbrook’s pressure helped the Lady Birds overtake the Lady Mustangs and lead at 36-35, but that momentum shift was brief. The Monument Valley squad regained its composure and led by eight heading into the final quarter.
In the early part of the fourth Holbrook stayed close, but down the stretch the Lady Mustangs made most of their shots and the Lady Birds, who had shot fairly well in the early going, began to miss from the outside, allowing Monument Valley to pull away and win the game 70-56.
Aaren Billie led the way for Holbrook with 12 points. Nyomi Yazzie added 10, Kellin Bakurza, 7, Cina Cummings, 6, Jessica Paz and Shantina Kinlicheenie, 5 each, Brittany Baldwin, 3, Kenalda Quintero, Col’bi Nez and Samantha Smith, 2 each, and Nasa Curley and Tamika Baldwin, 1 each.
“We played well. We did a great job on Bradley Nash, holding her to just four points in the game, but they had other players step up and hit some big shots, especially in the fourth period after we had made the game close. With Nash lurking in the middle and blocking a lot of our shots, we had to resort to taking several three-point shots, of which we made seven, but still didn’t shoot well enough to make a difference,” said Coach Greg Perkins.
“I was extremely proud of the effort the girls gave. We were a little outmanned and needed to play a good all around game to upset them, and we just couldn’t quite get it done. Losing this game was a disappointment, but looking at the bigger picture, we had a very successful season.
“These ladies have made me very proud. First, they are great girls with high character, which we stress. Second, we improved on last year, getting one round further in the state playoffs, which is always a goal, and now we are just two steps away from playing for a title. Considering where we were just three years ago, we have made great strides. We came into the season with just two seniors, and our underclassmen did a tremendous job of growing throughout the year.
“Our two seniors, Cina Cummings and Nyomi Yazzie, did a wonderful job setting examples for the younger girls, and will be missed, but we were able to get those younger girls a lot of experience this year, and they will step right into those positions and be ready to go next year. Now the all important off season begins for us,” noted the coach.
Holbrook 6 16 20 14 56
M-Valley 13 16 21 20 70
Holbrook ended the season with an overall record of 18 wins and 12 losses.
The Lady Mustangs will now face second ranked Tuba City in the first semifinal game, while Window Rock will take on Safford in the other semi-final contest today (Feb. 25). Expect Window Rock and Monument Valley to have a rematch of the North region championship game in the state final on Saturday night.
Holbrook’s Aaren Billie will represent the North Region in the girls’ three-point competition held at halftime of the boys’ title game on Saturday night. She will shoot against representatives from the East, West and South regions. Her sister, Sheria Billie, won the same competition last year for Holbrook.