Shiprock wears down Piedra Vista for 67-43 win

Karl Schneider
Shiprock's Tia Woods coverts a layup against Piedra Vista on Friday at the Chieftain Pit in Shiprock.

SHIPROCK – The Shiprock girls basketball team handed Piedra Vista its first loss of the season, running over the Lady Panthers 67-43 Friday night at the Chieftain Pit.

The Lady Chieftains sped the game up with their up-tempo offense and defense, jumping to a 19-8 lead on the Lady Panthers after the first quarter and never letting up.

“Overall, I was happy with our win,” Shiprock head coach Larenson Henderson said. “The girls fought through everything, and regardless of what happens, the girls are keeping their head in the game, and I’m happy about that.”

The depth of Shiprock proved to be a major factor in the game.

The hosts subbed five players at a time every four minutes, which allowed the Lady Chieftains to keep the energy and intensity high while wearing down PV.

“If our second five can go in and wear and tear on their first group, and put a little pressure on them and hold the lead, that’s what I want to see,” Henderson said. “I think we were up 22 in the third quarter when I put the second group in, and after four minutes, we were up 18. Four points is not bad. They did their job, and I’m proud of them.”

As the game wore on, the Lady Panthers became visibly exhausted trying to maintain the up-and-down pace.

“I told the girls in the locker room, ‘This game is 100 percent my fault,’” PV head coach Joe Reed said. “I haven’t trusted my bench, and with us pressing, I wore the girls down. By not going to the bench, we were tired. I’ve got to start trusting my bench more because we had great minutes from Autumn (Begay) and Hannah (Sayyeau). Those were the best minutes they’ve played all year, and I’ve got to start trusting them.”

Piedra Vista's Alexis Long takes a shot against Shiprock on Friday at the Chieftain Pit in Shiprock.

Shiprock held a 37-18 lead at halftime after junior Paige Dale paced the Lady Chieftains with 10 of her 12 points in the first half.

Tia Woods led the Shiprock offense in the second half, scoring 10 of her game-high 18 points in the fourth quarter.

Nykki Benally led PV with 13 points.

The Lady Chieftains were without regular starting guard Lacey Howe, who suffered a knee injury in during Shiprock’s game against Farmington on Tuesday. Henderson said the injury is a torn ACL, and Howe’s senior season is likely done.

“She’s heartbroken about it, because this is something she loves, and it’s really hard on us,” Henderson said. “It breaks my heart to see her on the bench.”

Shiprock (5-1) will be off until Dec. 29, when the Lady Chieftains host Albuquerque Academy (4-3).

PV (7-1) will host Bloomfield on Thursday (3-1).

Karl Schneider is the sports editor for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4648.