By Greg Perkins
Over the past few seasons Snowflake High School is one of the few schools in the area that has been very competitive in both football and basketball, with each program reaching the final four. That type of success comes from both programs having and sharing numerous good athletes. With most of their players having just come over from football, the Lobos won their season opening game Nov. 27 against Round Valley, then earned a split in four games at the Tate’s Auto Group Shootout over the weekend in Winslow.
Tuesday’s road matchup in Eagar saw a tough performance from a team with only one day of practice as a complete varsity unit. Reggie Petersen took off the pads and came up big for the Lobos, dropping in 20 points and pulling down 13 rebounds pacing Snowflake to a 67-53 win. Dallin Merrell added 9, Braccin Tanner and Rick Shumway, 8 each, Dallin Fussleman, 5, Keagan Kay, 5 and nine assists. Chase Walden, 4, Trent Caldwell, 2, and Doug Brimhall, 2, with seven rebounds.
After a quick practice the next day, Snowflake faced Valley Sanders in pool play at the Winslow tourna-ment last Thursday, easily taking care of the Pirates, 60-42. Walden went from quarterback to hoops, smoothly netting 18 points to lead the Lobos in scoring. Shumway added 13 and Tanner had 8. Petersen controlled the boards with 11.
Snowflake returned to Winslow on Friday to face St. Johns in the first round of bracket play. Petersen again played well with a double double, scoring 21 points with 10 boards. Shumway added 13 and Merrell helped with 8. Walden nearly came away with a triple double, scoring 9 points with 13 rebounds and 10 as-sists in the 66-55 win.
That win moved the Lobos into the semifinal round, where they met up with the Durango Demons of Colo-rado, the eventual tourney champions. Snowflake struggled from the field in this contest, suffering the first loss of the year 49-36. Brimhall hit for 10, Shumway added 8 and Walden added 5 with seven boards. Snow-flake couldn’t overcome cold shooting, 18 turnovers and making just eight of 17 free throw attempts.
In their final game of the tournament the Lobos again met up with Valley Sanders and came up just short, losing 71-69. Cold shooting from behind the arc, making just one of nine attempts, along with 27 turnovers really hurt the Lobo cause. Petersen finished with 17 points and 11 boards. Tanner added 11, Shumway, 10, and Walden, 8.
“Considering we have had only one day of practice with our complete team, I’m fairly pleased with what we’ve done,” said Coach Andy Wood. “Obviously we struggled shooting the ball and we are averaging too many turnovers, but once we get some time on the floor together I’m pretty sure we will improve in both ar-eas. The majority of this team has just barely finished football and it will take us some time to adjust. Fortu-nately, we won the Round Valley game, which is the important one due to the power point victory.”
Snowflake is now 3-2 and after hosting Blue Ridge on Tuesday, the Lobos will face North Canyon on Thursday, Dec. 6, in the first round of the Pepsi Tournament in Flagstaff. On Tuesday, Dec. 11, they will host Payson.
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By Greg Perkins