Nov 302011

By Greg Perkins–

The Roadrunners opened defense of last year’s state title on Monday night in Flagstaff against the Coconino Panthers. The Panthers have a team filled with mostly juniors while the Roadrunners list ten seniors on the roster joined by just two juniors and one sophomore.

One of those juniors; Sheldon Silversmith finished off a furious Holbrook comeback in the final minutes with a last second three point shot putting Holbrook on top 60-57 at the final horn. The Birds fell behind in the first period, and never regained the lead until the final minute of the game. Trailing by ten points late in the game, Holbrook applied full court pressure and forced the younger Panther team to crumble down the stretch, enabling the Birds to escape with a victory in the season opener.

Coconino led by four points at the half, then even with Torrian Epps of Holbrook connecting on a trio of three-point shots in the third, the Panthers extended that lead to eight at the beginning of the fourth period. In the final quarter Jalen Jackson netted 12 of his team high 20 to help complete the comeback. Bryson Keoni returned to the court from an injury and played stellar defense, sparking the final run for the Roadrunners. Silversmith scored just three points in the game, but it was the most timely and important three points of the contest.

Along with Jackson’s 20, Epps added 12, Dakota Lester 8, Rashaun Baldwin 7, Bryson Keoni 6, Decoven Adams 4, and Silversmith had the big three. Holbrook converted all eight of their free throw attempts and also hit eight treys.

The Panthers were led by Josh Ingram with a game high 21 points. They made just 11 of 18 free throw attempts and hit only one shot from distance.

Holbrook 9 13 14 24 60

Coconino 11 15 18 13 57

Holbrook won’t return to action until Dec. 2, when they travel to St. Johns. Following that they will face Mogollon on Dec. 6, then participate in the Round Valley tournament on Dec. 8-10.

Photo by Kellie Spangler/

Bryson Keoni goes up for a shot in a tough game against the Coconino Panthers. Holbrook pulled off a win at the last minute, with a final score of 60-57.