Jan 162013

A slow first half against top ranked Window Rock last Thursday night left Holbrook’s Lady Roadrunners playing catch up in the second half, and four points was as close as they would come before losing 49-40 to yet another very good and highly ranked team.
Playing on their home floor for the first time in a 10-game stretch covering three weeks, the Lady Roadrunners had troubles putting the ball in the hole. Holbrook netted just six points in each of the first two quarters and trailed by thirteen at the half.
In the second half the shots started to fall and Holbrook’s defense also picked up. Jessica Paz, Brittany Baldwin and Starla Smith all hit treys, and Kaynasa Curley netted three points the old fashioned way with a bucket, foul and free throw, leaving Holbrook trailing by nine heading to the fourth.
In the final quarter Holbrook continued to shoot well from the outside with Paz and Baldwin again connecting, and Teyah Goldtooth finding the mark twice from outside. Holbrook cut the lead to 38-34 with just over two minutes left, but the talented Lady Scout team quickly took advantage of back to back mistakes by Holbrook to extend the lead back to eight. From that point they controlled the final two minutes to win the game 49-40.
“We really struggled with our shooting in the first half, then started to make shots in the second. They are a solid team, and we just made too many mistakes once the game got close,” said Coach Greg Perkins. “We have to clean up our mental errors to win against these good teams on our schedule. I certainly can’t fault our effort. We just have to play clean games for four quarters to get some much needed wins.”
Curley led with 9, Paz added 8, Baldwin and Goldooth, 6 each, Starla Smith 5, Mariah Cummings, 3, Summer Olney, 2, and Col’Bi Nez, 1.
Holbrook made four of five free throws and hit eight three-point shots.
On Friday night, another highly ranked team visited Muñoz Gym. Valley Sanders has just one loss on the season, that coming to Window Rock, and the Lady Pirates showed early why they are so good, jumping out on top of the Lady Roadrunners 22-13 after the first eight minutes. Holbrook played better in the second and third periods, but too many costly turnovers against a team capable of taking advantage of them cost Holbrook its fifth consecutive loss, 74-59.
Goldtooth led the team with 20 points. Starla Smith added 12, Paz, 7, Samantha Smith, 5, Olney and Cummings, 4 each, Baldwin and Latanya Kinlicheenie, 3 each, and Col’Bi Nez, 2.
“Teyah and Summer both came off the bench and played well. Also it is good to see Jessica getting back to where she was before getting sick,” noted the coach.
“We shot the ball much better and again played hard. Valley is a talented team that we actually should match up with very well. We didn’t get nearly enough points in the paint like we should against a smaller team. We did make 11 three-point shots, but we need to score inside when we get the opportunity so we can get to the free throw line. Valley shot 37 free throws and we took only 10 in the game, showing that we have to drive inside more than we are, especially against a smaller team.
“Other than that we played well, except for some costly turnovers. We had the game to a two or four-point game a few times in the fourth, but like most of the teams we have faced lately, mistakes cost points quickly. We had 26 turnovers, most of which resulted directly in Pirate points.
“Even though we have dropped five games in a row now, four of the five have been against top level teams in our division. These are teams that are going to make deep playoff runs. We have shown the ability to play with them at times during games, but in order to beat these type of teams, we need to continue to play hard and make fewer mistakes, especially mental mistakes, that have been costing us opportunities for big wins.
“Our schedule is still tough for the next three games at least, and we have now dipped in the power rankings to 13th, and need to climb into the top eight to get a first round bye in the state playoffs. In this region for girls basketball there aren’t many nights off, at least not on our schedule, but it will make us a better team in the end,” concluded Coach Perkins.
With the two losses the Lady Roadrunners fell to 16-8 overall and 6-5 in power point games. Holbrook will play at Valley Sanders on Friday, Jan. 18, then travel to Chinle on Saturday, Jan. 19. On Tuesday, Jan. 22, second ranked Winslow comes to Holbrook.