By Sam Conner
Winslow High School basketball coach Ricky Greer reports that the Bulldogs have been enjoying a successful summer program so far. The team is 12-3 for the summer after winning the Ft. Lewis College Tournament at Durango, Colo. This prestigious tournament draws some of the best teams from Colorado, New Mexico and Arizona.
On Friday, June 14, Winslow defeated Los Lunas 45-32 in a game in which Frank Kelly scored 20 points for the Bulldogs and Stevin Nelson tallied 11. Los Lunas is a large school of 1,800 students. The Bulldogs also defeated Gallup 42-35 on Friday as Keenan Keams led the charge with 17 points.
The next day Winslow nipped Albuquerque Del Norte 37-34. Keams led the Bulldogs in the low scoring game with eight points. Trevor Begay scored seven. Del Norte is a 5A school of over 2,000 students. The Bulldogs then won an even lower scoring game over host Durango, 38-37. Nelson led the offense with 15 points.
The final game on Saturday was one Winslow probably should have lost, but which the Bulldogs won 40-38. Nelson led the way with 13 points.
About this game Coach Greer said, “This is the game in which we should’ve lost. Piedra Vista is a young, but very solid club out of Farmington. They are a 4A school of around 1,400 students. They played with more energy and smarter than us for the most part, especially the first half. But we played well out of halftime and held the lead most of the second half. They hit a big shot to take a one-point lead with 10 seconds to go in the game. We called our final time out and called for a high pick in roll for Keenan. It was taken away by a trap at midcourt, but he made a great read, didn’t dribble into the trap, he swung the ball to Trelonnie Sanders across the court who penetrated middle, drawing a second defender. This left Frank Kelly wide open in the right corner in front of our bench and he hit the game winning three with 1.7 seconds left on the clock. Huge shot and showed big time character!”
The Bulldogs went into Sunday’s game as the top seed from their pool and opened with a 49-42 win over Ignacio. Nelson led Winslow with 15 points. Kelly scored 10 points and Keams tallied nine.
In the championship game, the Bulldogs had a rematch with Los Lunas, whom they had given their only loss of the tournament in their opening game. The Bulldogs prevailed again 45-31, led by Nelson with 14 points and Sanders with 11.
About this game Coach Greer said, “We knew this game was going to be a dog fight after handing Los Lunas their only loss of the camp. They are physical and play with a bully mentality. So much credit goes to our players; they came out on fire and with great emotion. They never relented and continued to turn up the emotion and intensity throughout the ballgame. Los Lunas didn’t know how to respond. They came back and tied it late in the first half, but we responded with a three and lay-up, and Stevin hit an NBA range three with two seconds left in the half that really deflated them.
“We came out in the second clicking on all cylinders and built a 20-point lead. Stevin played an amazing game on both ends of the floor, shooting it very well from deep. Trelonnie and Keenan were great, attacking throughout, and the defense from Vinny and Demetrius on their best player was a pleasure to watch. It was a great way to end an awesome weekend! It was all out, all the time and a complete game.”
Winslow was to play at Flagstaff this weekend before going to San Diego for the final action of the summer.
Players who attended the Durango tournament included Trevor Begay, a senior; Jesi Bitsoi, a varsity returning senior; Cory Dixon, a senior; Demetrius Gamez, a varsity returning senior; Andrew Greenwood, a varsity returning senior; Nathan Hanley, a sophomore; Keenan Keams, a varsity returning senior; Frank Kelly, a varsity returning senior; Stevin Nelson, a varsity returning starter senior; Trelonnie Sanders, a junior; Vincenzio Sells, a varsity returning starter senior; and Austin Tsosie, a senior.
The Bulldogs began the season June 1-3 at Scottsdale Christian Academy, where they won one game and lost two against very good competition.
The first game was a 61-56 overtime loss to a much larger North Canyon team. Keams led Winslow with 19 points. Nelson scored nine and Dixon, eight.
Winslow won its second game 45-42 over Paradise Valley, another large Phoenix area school. Keams and Milland Thomas each scored 10 points to lead the Bulldogs.
The final game of this tournament was a 61-56 loss to Valley Christian. Keams led Winslow with 19 points. Thomas scored 11 points and Kelly scored nine.
Greer said that all three of those teams were very good and that Paradise Valley was the best team there. He noted that Winslow defeated Paradise Valley a three-point shot by Kelly at the buzzer. He said that Winslow had chances to win the other two games, but made crucial mistakes.
Winslow then won four games and lost one at a tournament held June 7 and 8 in Flagstaff.
The Bulldogs beat a Flagstaff team that was without many of its best players, 46-38.
Winslow then clobbered Mingus 64-25 in a game in which Keams scored 28 points.
Show Low edged Winslow 50-46, with Keams scoring 18 points.
The Bulldogs beat Coconino 44-35, with Keams scoring 18 points and Nelson, 14.
In the final game Winslow defeated Page 52-49, with Keams scoring 20 points and Nelson, 13.
By Sam Conner