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Jan 032014
 

The Lady Roadrunners of Holbrook went 3-2 at the Valley Christian Tournament held last weekend in Chandler, good enough for fourth place in the 10-team field.
The Birds opened pool play last Thursday against a familiar foe as they took on Round Valley.
Holbrook jumped out to an early lead thanks to a pair of first period three-pointers from Teyah Goldtooth, but by the end of the period the Lady Elks held a 16-14 lead. In the second Holbrook doubled up the Elks retaking the halftime lead at 32-22. Quanyyah Lester and Cheyenne Lester each hit treys, and Dena Kinlicheenie netted four in the period.
The Roadrunners really put the game out of reach with their third straight 16-point quarter while holding the Elks to just five. Tilly Kelly hit from outside and the team made five of six free throws in that stretch to lead 48-27 going into the final stanza.
With Holbrook playing primarily bench players in the fourth the Elks trimmed four points off the lead, but the Birds came out on top 58-44.
Goldtooth led Holbrook with 12 points, followed by Quanyyah Lester and Cheyenne Lester with 9 each; Rochelle Nez, 7; Kinlicheenie, 5; Kelly, 4; Shandie Demuth and Adriana Monroe, 3 each; and Summer Olney, Tamara Yazzie and Sheraye Sells, 2 each.
Holbrook’s second pool play matchup was with the host team, Valley Christian. The unbeaten and highly ranked Lady Trojans showed why they should be considered as state title favorites as they pounded Holbrook 57-21.
The Roadrunners played well through the first four minutes and held an 8-7 lead, but then the roof collapsed on them. Valley Christian went on to outscore Holbrook 26-1 from that point and held a commanding 33-8 halftime lead. Things didn’t improve much in the second half for Holbrook as the Birds suffered their third loss of the season.
“We knew going in they were very talented, besides being such a young team without any seniors,” said Coach Greg Perkins.
“We tried a little different defensive strategy and it backfired in the first half, putting us in a big hole. I thought we could defend a little better in a one-on-one situation, but the girls really struggled to stop their individual players. In the second half we went back to what we normally do on defense and played better, but we couldn’t buy a bucket on the offensive end.
“Shooting less than 20 percent against any team it’s hard to win, but against what may be the best team in our division makes it almost impossible,” said the coach.
Monroe and Goldtooth led Holbrook with 5 points each, followed by Demuth with 3; and Lester, Kinlicheenie, Kelly and Nez with 2 each.
Both of Friday’s pool games were close contests, and Holbrook came out on the right side of both.
In the morning the Roadrunners came from behind late in the fourth to force overtime against Tempe Prep, then in the final two seconds of the overtime session they broke a 53-53 tie with a successful set play to win the game 55-53.
Goldtooth scored nine of Holbrook’s 11 first period points helped by back-to-back three-point shots. Kinlicheenie added six in the second and Olney netted four in the third. Monroe scored five in the fourth, including a three-point shot near the end of regulation to tie the game. Goldtooth scored five in the overtime including the game winner off a nice assist pass from Olney.
Goldtooth led the team in scoring with 17 points. Olney added 11; Nez, 8; Monroe, 7; and Demuth, and Kinlicheenie, 6 each.
“We did a good job of keeping the game close despite having too many turnovers once again,” said the coach. “When we needed it we had solid execution on a couple of set plays and hit some big shots to force the overtime, then win it in overtime.”
Holbrook’s second game on Friday was with Sandra Day O’Connor. The Roadrunners shot well early, hitting three treys against the zone defense they faced, and led 12-7 at the close of the first. In the second they struggled from the field, losing the lead at the half as they trailed by one. That deficit grew to three at the end of the third. Holbrook came back strong in the fourth period, catching and passing O’Connor late in the game to win it 49-46.
“We didn’t really play a solid four quarters, but managed to stay close enough throughout the game to make a run in the end,” said Perkins.
“We won the game, but once we get into January, we can’t continue to make mistakes which put us in situations where we need to come from behind to win games.”
Goldtooth led Holbrook’s offense with 12 points. Demuth added 9; Olney, 8; Quanyyah Lester, 7; Cheyenne Lester, 5; and Kinlicheenie and Nez, 4 each.
The Roadrunners 3-1 pool record placed them into the third place game with Salt River. The Lady Eagles defeated Holbrook in the semifinals of the Round Valley Tournament earlier in the month and again came out on top, leaving Holbrook with a 3-2 tournament record and fourth place.
Nez scored well inside early, pacing the Birds to a one-point edge at the end of the opening quarter. Laurie Brown hit a buzzer beater at the close of the half to keep the Birds within two points at 29-27. Salt River’s edge grew to four points heading into the fourth despite Goldtooth and Nez making all six of their third period free throws. In the fourth Salt River’s point guard proved too much for Holbrook to handle as she was allowed to get into the lane and make shots, propelling her team to a 62-51 win over Holbrook.
Goldtooth and Nez shared scoring honors for Holbrook with 13 points each, followed by Kinlicheenie and Demuth with 5 each; Olney, 4; Cheyenne Lester and Brown, 3 each; and Monroe and Quanyyah Lester, 2 each.
“We shot the ball terribly in this game, shooting less than 17 percent from the field. Our best three-point shooter went zero for nine, and as a team we went four for 29. Against good teams like Salt River, we have to make more of those shots to win games, especially against teams which play zones and give us those chances,” said the coach.
“Overall, it was a good tournament for us. We won some close games against some good competition. We also got a first hand look at what I think is one of the best teams in our division. Certainly the North teams will be well represented at the state tournament as usual, but I think we all better make some room for Valley Christian for the next couple of years.”
Teyah Goldtooth and Summer Olney were named to the All Tournament Team.
The Roadrunners head into January with an overall mark of 12-4. They will host Snowflake on Tuesday, Jan. 7, travel to Round Valley on Jan. 9, then venture to Page on Jan. 11. All games from this point forward count toward the power point rankings used to determine the state tournament seeds.

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