By Greg Perkins
The Roadrunners went 4-2 at the Round Valley Tournament, claiming the consolation title with a win over St. Johns in their final game of the tournament last Saturday afternoon.
Holbrook opened tournament play on Thursday afternoon with a tough 51-47 loss to Ysleta, Texas. After holding a seven-point halftime edge, the Roadrunners built as much as a 15-point lead in the second half be-fore a rally by Ysleta forced them to give up the lead late in the game. Andon Hatch did his part, knocking down six treys to lead the team with 20 total points. Marlin Martin and Nathan Turley each added 7 in the loss.
Holbrook bounced back in Thursday’s second game, overcoming a slow start to defeat Cibecue, 58-44. The Roadrunners led by double digits at the half and pretty well held that advantage throughout the final two quarters. Four players reached double figures led by Sheldon Silversmith and Hatch with 12 each. Martin added 11 and Kyle Chee hit for 10.
In the opening round of bracket play on Friday the Roadrunners found themselves undersized against a much taller Show Low team. The Cougars used that size to gain an early edge and led 42-18 at the half. In the second the Roadrunners got themselves back into the game with full court pressure, cutting the lead to as little as two, but that comeback took too much out of them. In the end Show Low pulled away again to win 64-54. Silversmith led with 14 points. Miireux Begaii added 12 and Hatch netted 11 in the loss.
Facing Round Valley in a non-bracket game on Friday afternoon that did not count, Holbrook defeated what ended up being the top seed in the tournament 56-52. The Elks led by eight at the half, but in the second Chee came to life, netting 11 of his game high 28 points to help give the Roadrunners a two-point advantage with one quarter to play. In the fourth Chee kept up his assault, netting another 11 to keep Holbrook on top. Silversmith added 11 in the win.
In the consolation semifinal round Holbrook defeated Camp Verde 52-36 on Saturday morning. A solid first quarter left the Birds with a three-point cushion. In the second Holbrook made good on five of six charity tosses to move out to a seven-point halftime cushion. Turley scored eight of his team high 14 in the third pe-riod as the Birds pushed the lead to double digits. Along with Turley’s 14, Chee added 13 and Dontae Hollins finished with 7.
In the consolation championship game the Roadrunners defeated a hard playing St. Johns team, 54-47. Both teams struggled to find the mark early with the Redskins leading 8-6 after one. In the second both teams shot better and St. Johns led by one at the half. The third period was the game changer for Holbrook. A 21-point performance by the Roadrunners offset a 10-point period for St. Johns, leaving the Birds with a 10-point lead with one period to play. In the fourth St. Johns cut the lead to four, but free throws down the stretch se-cured the win and the consolation crown for the Roadrunners. Turley was Holbrook’s only player in double figures with 12 points.
The Roadrunners moved to 7-5 on the season. After playing Mogollon tonight (Dec. 12) at Heber, they will travel to Snowflake on Monday, Dec. 17, to face a good Lobo team.
By Greg Perkins