By Greg Perkins
Holbrook’s Roadrunners played well at times in their past two ball games, but they came up short in a close loss to Alchesay Dec. 20, then fell to St. Johns the next night.
Playing in front of a large and rowdy crowd at Chief Alchesay Center in Whiteriver, the Roadrunners fell behind early, giving up 30 second quarter points to the Falcons. Holbrook made a furious comeback in the fourth, netting 28 in the frame to pull within three points late, but down the stretch they were forced to put the Falcons on the line where they secured the win, 79-74.
Kyle Chee led Holbrook’s comeback effort with 21 points, 10 of which came in the final period. Dontae Hollins added 15 with 11 coming over the final eight minutes. Miireaux Begaii scored 10, Sheldon Silversmith and Triston Zahne, 8 each, Nathan Turley, 6, Brandon Bitsui, 4, and Marlin Martin, 2.
Holbrook made eight of 17 free throw attempts and hit six shots from distance.
After getting home late from Whiteriver, the Roadrunners were back on the road with a trip to St. Johns to face a physical Redskin team.
A trio of treys in the first helped give the Birds a 23-20 halftime lead. Trailing by just two at the end of the third, the Roadrunners gave up 28 to the Redskins over the final eight minutes to suffer a 65-51 loss. St. Johns made 13 of 19 free throws in the fourth period to hold off the Roadrunners.
Chee again led Holbrook with 15 points. Hollins added 10, Turley, 8, Andon Hatch, 7, Begaii, 6, and Martin and Nelson, 2 each. Holbrook made seven of eight free throws for the game and hit six three-point shots.
The Roadrunners headed into the Christmas break with an overall mark of 7-10. In the early season power rankings they were 51st. The Birds will need to win several games in January to make the top 24 ranking and earn a trip to the state tournament.
Holbrook was slated to face Monument Valley Thursday evening in the first round of the Holiday Tournament of Champions in Chinle. The Roadrunners will see either Window Rock or Winslow in a second round game today (Dec. 28), then wrap up the three-game tournament on Saturday, Dec. 29.
The Birds return to regular season action on Saturday, Jan. 5, with a road game at Winslow. On Tuesday, Jan. 8, they will make the short trip to Joseph City to face the Wildcats.
By Greg Perkins