By Sam Conner –
The Winslow Lady Bulldogs defeated the Tuba City Lady Warriors 48-47 in overtime on Friday at Glendale to reach the championship game on Saturday in the Division III Arizona State Basketball Tournament, where they fell to the top ranked Page Lady Sand Devils, 46-38.
Winslow led 13-0 after the first quarter of the semifinal contest with Tuba City, but trailed 26-22 at the half and 35-34 after three quarters. The Lady Bulldogs rallied and held a three-point lead with just seconds to go when Lady Warrior Vernene Sheppard hit three free throws to send the game into overtime.
The game was not decided until the final buzzer when Tuba City star Jamie Roe grabbed a missed Winslow free throw with just six seconds on the clock and raced down the court, where her short bank shot rolled over the rim with the buzzer sounding.
Roe was the game high scorer with 19 points to lead Tuba City. Vernene Sheppard was also in double figures for the Lady Warriors with 12 points.
Mattea Begaii led Winslow with 14 points, including four three-point shots. Corey Nez had 12 points and was a perfect eight for eight from the charity stripe. Freshman Shandiin Armao and sophomore Marcella Joe both hit key overtime free throws and played well for Winslow.
Page defeated Camp Verde 60-45 in a semifinal game that was close at the half before the Lady Sand Devils outscored the Lady Cowboys 24-10 in the third quarter.
A huge fourth quarter in which they scored 22 points was the key to the Lady Sand Devil victory in the championship game. The game had been tied 7-7 after the first quarter. Winslow led 15-13 at the intermission and the teams were tied at 24-24 after three quarters. Page hit seven of 17 three-point shots, with half of them coming in the final period.
Malarie Williams led all scorers with 16 points for Page and was the only player for either team in double figures. Boka Claw scored nine points for Page. Corey Nez and Mattea Begaii led Winslow with eight points each.
Turnovers hurt Winslow as they were cited for 23 such miscues. They were also charged with more fouls than Page and had a key player foul out early.
Page finished the season with an impressive 31-2 record. The Lady Bulldogs ended their season with a fine 24-6 record.