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Dec 142012
 

The Lady Roadrunners of Holbrook won all six of their games at the Round Valley Tournament last weekend, defeating the hosting Lady Elks in a very physical championship game, 52-45.
Holbrook picked up its first two wins on Thursday with a 62-28 advantage over St. Johns and a hard fought, 58-44 win over previously ranked Safford on Thursday night.
Against St. Johns, Kaynasa Curley led three players in double figures with 17 points. Brittany Baldwin added 12 and Teyah Goldtooth finished with 10. Ten of Holbrook’s 12 players in uniform scored in the win.
Facing Safford’s Lady Bulldogs and their standout junior, Jordan Abalos, the Lady Roadrunners rallied from a two-point first quarter deficit to tie the game at the half. Holbrook built a three-point lead after three then, with the help of three consecutive three-point shots from Goldooth in the fourth, pulled away down the stretch to win the game by 14.
“We had some problems with the Abalos girl early on, but I thought we adjusted well in the second half. Also our outside shooting really helped us pull away to get the win,” said Coach Greg Perkins.
Baldwin led Holbrook’s offense with 15 points, while Goldtooth and Curley each added 12. Starla Smith played well off the bench with eight points.
In the opening round of bracket play Holbrook easily took care of New Mexico’s Silver High School with a 68-33 final outcome. Starla Smith got the start and played well, scoring 14 points. Curley added 12 and Goldtooth hit for 11.
With that win the Lady Roadrunners moved on to face El Paso, Texas, on Friday evening. Playing with several players nursing illness, Holbrook struggled to 25-24 halftime lead. In the third the Lady Birds found their defensive stride, holding the Lady Tigers to only three points while converting steals into easy buckets, which helped build a big lead. El Paso outscored Holbrook in the fourth, but the end result was never in doubt as Holbrook won 57-43. Summer Olney led the way with 14 points, Curley added 13 and Goldtooth hit for 10.
“With several of our key players sitting out major minutes due to being sick, I thought our bench did a tremendous job in expanding our lead and getting this win,” said the coach.
That win put Holbrook into the semifinal round on Saturday, when the Lady Roadrunners met up with Camp Verde for a 9 a.m. tipoff. The Cowgirls were a final four team last year and they turned Holbrook mistakes into a closer first quarter game than it should have been. The Lady Roadrunners poured in 22 points in the first eight minutes and led 32-24 at the half. In the second half Holbrook’s defense held the Cowgirls to just 11 total points to advance to the championship round with a 54-35 win. Four players scored in double figures, led by Baldwin with 14. Goldtooth, Curley and Starla Smith each netted 10.
“We struggled early, but played well in the second half,” said Coach Perkins.
In the championship game Holbrook met up with a much improved Round Valley team, which had won each of its five prior tournament games by nearly 20 points. Holbrook opened the final game in good fashion with Curley netting seven early points and Goldtooth helping with five, giving the Lady Birds a 14-9 cushion heading to the second. In the second Round Valley used a late period run to tie the game 22-22 at the half. In the third the Lady Birds edged out to a one-point lead, thanks in part to a pair of three-point shots from Baldwin. They expanded the lead to 11 points midway through the fourth, with big shots from Baldwin and Goldtooth, along with several steals from Jessica Paz and Curley. Round Valley cut Holbrook’s lead to three points with just under a minute left, but in the end Paz made enough free throws to help Holbrook secure the championship trophy, 52-45. Baldwin scored 12 and Goldtooth netted 10 in the final game.
“We told the girls before the game how much Round Valley wanted to beat us to win their own tournament. They are a senior heavy team like us, and they are much improved this year. We had problems pressing them early on, primarily due to our legs being gone from illness and fatigue after three days of travel,” said the coach.
“Jessica was able to come off the bench and give us a lift with her defense and hustle late in the game. Also Starla again played well and Shandie Demuth really played well after struggling in the morning game. Throughout this tournament we were able to count on our depth to get wins. In the title game they again came through for us.
“Even though I can only start five girls, we have around seven or eight who are capable of being in the starting five, which really gives us strength on our bench. We will need to count on that as we get closer to January. Overall, I am very proud of how our girls were able to overcome some adversity throughout the tournament and some physical play in the title game by the Round Valley team. We need to get healthy to be able to compete at the level we expect to play against the good teams ahead on our schedule,” he concluded.
Kaynasa Curley was named the tournament MVP. Brittany Baldwin and Teyah Goldtooth were each selected to the all tournament team.
Holbrook heads into tonight’s (Dec. 12) road game against Mogollon at Heber with a 10-0 mark. On Monday, Dec. 17, they will host Snowflake. On Thursday, Dec. 20, they play a tough Alchesay squad in Whiteriver. The Winslow Winter Classic, originally scheduled for this week, has been rescheduled for Friday and Saturday, Dec. 21 and 22.

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