By Sam Conner–
The Winslow Lady Bulldogs defeated the Tuba City Lady Warriors 58-53 to win the championship of the Winslow Winter Classic Basketball Tournament.
The Lady Bulldogs led 13-12 after the first quarter, but trailed 23-22 at the half. Winslow led again 36-31 after three quarters, but the teams were tied at 38-38 with five and a half minutes left to play before the Lady Bulldogs pulled away for the win.
Corey Nez led Winslow in scoring with 14 points. Taramika Lee with 11 points and Shandiin Armao with 10 were also in double figures for the winners. Vernene Sheppard of Tuba City led all scorers with 18 points. Jaime Roe with 15 points and Shiniya Henry with 10 were also in double digits for the Lady Warriors. Winslow had eight players score against only six for Tuba City.
The All-Tournament Team included Corey Nez, Mattea Begaii and Taramika Lee of Winslow, Taylor Hill and Searra Hansen of Joseph City, Kellin Bakurza and Shantina Kinlicheenie of Holbrook, Vernene Sheppard and Jaime Roe of Tuba City, Arianne Sheka and Naomi Klah of Window Rock, Tinnarrie Lameman of Monument Valley, Karla Kee of Chinle and Mataya Newhall of Alchesay.
The Lady Bulldogs earned a berth in the championship game with a 52-33 win over the Window Rock Lady Scouts in the semifinals. Winslow led by a narrow 12-10 after the first quarter, but added to the lead in each period of play. The second quarter was a big one for the Lady Bulldogs as they led 27-16 at the half and were up 38-25 after three periods of play.
Marcella Joe led all scorers with 15 points for Winslow. Armao scored nine for the Lady Bulldogs. Arianne Sheka led Window Rock with eight points.
The Tuba City Lady Warriors edged the Holbrook Lady Roadrunners 62-51 in overtime in the other semifinal game to earn a berth against Winslow for the championship.
Holbrook led 19-13 after the first quarter, but Tuba City was up 25-24 at the half. Holbrook came back in the third quarter to lead 37-31 going into the final period. The Lady Warriors did not lead until a minute and a half was left in regulation, but Holbrook needed a three-point shot at the buzzer to tie the score at 49-49 and send the game into overtime. Tuba City outscored the Lady Roadrunners 13-2 in the extra period.
Hilynn Wilson led Tuba City with 12 points. Jamie Roe and Vernene Sheppard with 11 points each, and Kristen Becenti with 10 points were all in double figures for the Lady Warriors. Kellin Bakurza of Holbrook led all scorers with 13 points. Shantina Kinlicheenie with 11 points and Jessica Paz with 10 points were also in double figures for the Lady Roadrunners.
The Window Rock Lady Scouts won the third place game over the Holbrook Lady Roadrunners 41-35. The game was close throughout, with Window Rock leading 7-6 after the first period, the score tied 13-13 at the half and Window Rock back up by one at 26-25 after three periods.
Naomi Klah led Window Rock with 11 points, while Francine Clark scored nine. Brittany Baldwin led Holbrook with eight points.
Alchesay defeated Monument Valley 50-47 in a winner’s bracket semifinal game and Chinle defeated Snowflake 44-42 in the other semifinal game of that bracket. Scores were not available for the games between Monument Valley and Snowflake, or Alchesay and Chinle.
Joseph City won the consolation bracket with wins over Ganado, 53-46, and Coconino, 59-45. Ganado won third place in that bracket with a 53-47 win over Hopi. Coconino defeated Hopi 50-33 in the other semifinal game.
The Monument Valley Lady Mustangs defeated the Window Rock Lady Scouts 48-42 in a pool play game between two of the best teams in the state on the first day of the tourney. The Window Rock Lady Scouts defeated the Joseph City Lady Wildcats 48-29 in the other game of that bracket.
The Winslow Lady Bulldogs had no trouble with the Alchesay Lady Falcons, topping them 76-30 in pool play. The Lady Bulldogs played exceptionally well, moving out to a 22-8 first period lead and a 46-15 advantage at the half. The margin was 40 points at 59-19 after three quarters of play. Mattea Begaii led the Lady Bulldogs with 18 points. Laylane Benslow and Armao each scored 11, and Nez had 10 for Winslow. No Lady Falcon scored more than six points.
Winslow needed to beat Ganado on Friday to assure a spot in the championship bracket. Ganado proved no problem for the Lady Bulldogs, who stormed to a 69-17 victory. Lee led the Lady Bulldogs with 14 points. Nez added 13 points, and Armao and Joe scored 10 a piece. No Lady Hornet had more than three points.
The Tuba City Lady Warriors cruised past the Snowflake Lady Lobos 62-18 in pool play.
Snowflake then bested Hopi 42-22 and Tuba City had no problem defeating the Hopi Lady Bruins 54-20 to assure a spot in the championship bracket.
The Holbrook Lady Roadrunners got a close 50-46 win over the Chinle Lady Wildcats in pool play. Holbrook led 18-16 after the first quarter, 25-22 at the half and 39-34 after three quarters. Kellin Bakurza led the Lady Roadrunners with 11 points. Jessica Paz scored 10, Shantina Kinlicheenie had nine and Aaren LaRose had eight for Holbrook. Rachel Martin and Karla Kee each scored 10 for Chinle.
Chinle topped Coconino 61-34 to secure at least a berth in the winner’s bracket. In Chinle’s 61-34 win over Coconino Karla Kee led the Lady Wildcats with 19 points and Brittany Yazzie was in double figures with 16 points. Jasmine Golding led Coconino with 10 points.
Holbrook earned its berth in the championship bracket with a 44-31 win over Coconino on Friday.
Monument Valley’s 48-42 win over Window Rock saw the Lady Mustangs build an 18-12 first period lead and expand it to 30-19 at the half. Window Rock cut the lead to 34-29 after three quarters, but never caught up. Heidi Nelson led the Lady Mustangs with 20 points and Tinnarrie Lameman was also in double figures with 10 points. Francine Clark led the Lady Scouts with 15 points.
The surprise of the tournament was probably the Joseph City Lady Wildcats’ upset of highly regarded Monument Valley 64-62 on a shot at the buzzer by Taylor Hill that gave her team the come from behind victory. Monument Valley had a commanding 26-13 lead at the end of the first quarter, but the Lady Wildcats cut into the margin in every period trimming the lead to 39-31 at the half and to a single point at 53-52 after three quarters. Searra Hansen led Joseph City in scoring with 27 points. Lexi Edwards with 14 points and Hill with 12 were also in double figures for the Lady Wildcats. Heidi Nelson led the Lady Mustangs with 22 points. Ashley Holiday with 13 points and Tinnamirre Lameman with 12 were also in double figures for Monument Valley.