By Greg Perkins
The Lobos headed into the sectional tournament ranked fifth in the state in Division III basketball, and despite losing in the sectional championship game to top seeded Window Rock, their two wins in earlier rounds moved them into the fourth overall seed. They had a first round bye in the state tournament, which got underway on Tuesday.
The Lobos were the third seeded team at the sectional tournament and faced No. 6 Blue Ridge in the first round last Wednesday at Winslow. Snowflake had just defeated the Yellowjackets 66-54 in the final regular season game, and proving that was no fluke, they again defeated Blue Ridge in the sectional only by a larger margin of 65-43. Rick Shumway led the Lobos’ offense with 15 points. Chase Walden, Doug Brimhall, and Reggie Petersen each scored 12, Dallin Merrell added 8 and Braccin Tanner, 6.
That win advanced the Lobos to the semifinal round in Chinle on Friday, where they held off seventh seeded Alchesay 71-69 in a great game. Shumway led the team with 21 points. Petersen added 19, Merrell, 10, Brimhall, 8, Tanner, 6, Walden, 5, and Dallin Fusselman, 2.
Having spent a lot of energy on Friday night, the Lobos met up with top seeded Window Rock in the championship game Saturday night and just didn’t have enough left in the tank. They were handed a 78-46 loss by the Scouts. Window Rock is the No. 1 overall seed in the state tournament and played like it. The Lobos were led by Walden with 13. Merrell added 10, Petersen, 7, Tanner, 6, Shumway, 5, Luke Lewis, 4, and Kurt Wood, 3.
Despite the loss the Lobos still earned a first round bye in the state tournament as the fourth overall seed. They will face either No. 20 Morenci or No. 13 Blue Ridge again at 3 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 15, in the Sky-dome at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff. If they can get past that round, they will see either No. 21 Fountain Hills, No. 12 Alchesay or No. 5 Chinle at 9 a.m. on Monday, Feb. 18, at Tim’s Toyota Center in Prescott Valley.
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By Greg Perkins