Lady Scorps, Lady Chieftains pick up easy wins

FHS sprints past West Las Vegas, Shiprock shuts down Navajo Pine

Jake Newby
Farmington's Celeste Coolidge shoots over West Las Vegas'
Kerstin Morgan during the Jerry Richardson Memorial Tournament at the Chieftain Pit in Shiprock.

SHIPROCK – The Farmington girls basketball team had little trouble ending West Las Vegas’ early-season undefeated streak today, the first day of the Jerry Richardson Memorial Tournament at the Chieftain Pit in Shiprock.

Tanisha Beetso scored 20 points and Meeya Yazzie added 16 as the Lady Scorpions rolled over the Lady Dons 66-45.

“I think it was a great team effort for us because everyone got in the game, and everyone contributed for us,” FHS coach Danny Secrest said.

West Las Vegas (4-1) couldn’t handle Farmington’s full-court press early in the game. FHS forced numerous turnovers and bad shots, then collected rebounds and raced down court to score easy buckets in the paint.

Midway through the first, the Lady Scorpions (2-1) built a 16-3 lead and cruised from there. Farmington’s ability to find holes in the Lady Dons’ press led to easy scores, which opened up the jump shot in the second half.

“We work on playing against the press at practice every day, so it kind of helps us prepare for what (West Las Vegas) just gave us,” Secrest said.

Up 37-25 at halftime, Beetso played aggressively to start the third. The senior scored seven quick points, including a 3-pointer, to increase the FHS lead to 15. Yazzie was also big down the stretch, hitting a pair of second-half 3-pointers and stealing the ball twice, while taking care of the ball when the Lady Scorps were on offense.

“Tanisha had a great game, and Meeya takes care of the ball, and that’s what we need really,” Secrest said. “We really, really need to cut down on turnovers a lot. That’s been one of our main focuses, not turning the ball over so much.”

A 9-0 Lady Dons run late in the third quarter was ended when Secrest called a full timeout and reminded his team not to let up.

Farmington responded by winning the fourth quarter 15-7 to secure the win.

The Lady Scorps will square off with Navajo Pine this afternoon in the second day of the three-day tournament.

Shiprock 85, Navajo Pine 20

The Lady Chieftains had to sit and think about their season-opening loss to Gallup for 12 days over Thanksgiving break before getting back on the court on Thursday night to take it out on Navajo Pine.

Shiprock's relentless defense gave Navajo Pine (0-2) fits from the opening tip in the 85-20 win, which was a welcome sight for coach Larenson Henderson.

"I think against Gallup, we kind of lagged off defensively," Henderson said. "So far, we're trying to find that defensive mentality. We're trying to focus on sprinting more and being more aggressive and containing people in front of us, and I think the girls did a lot better job doing that tonight."

Four Lady Chieftans scored in double figures for Shiprock, led by Tyanna Harry's 13 points.

Henderson said the offense looked in sync on Thursday.

"It's good that we're getting people that move, and the girls are really reading each other," he said. "If we can pass like we did tonight and fill lanes, we'll have good passing options and that will lead to more easy baskets."

Shiprock will play San Juan (Blanding, Utah) today.

Jake Newby covers sports for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4577 and Follow him @JakeNewby07 on Twitter.