Prep Newsmaker: Yazzie fires up her teammates
Lady Scorpions are starting to turn the corner behind their energetic point guard
FARMINGTON — When the Farmington girls basketball team played earlier this month in the Lady Bronco Tournament at Kirtland Central, the Lady Scorpions saw a new side of their senior point guard.
On Jan. 9, Meeya Yazzie helped bring the Lady Scorps back from an early-game, 12-point deficit against Kirtland. She showed a lot of emotion while doing it, yelling out after consecutive FHS baskets during a third-quarter run.
"I got super excited. I don't think my teammates (have seen) that side of me in a while," Yazzie said. "In that game, I saw them start loosening up for the first time, in that second half especially. I think when I get like that, it helps pump everyone up, which is important, because attitude and confidence is everything."
Lady Scorps coach Danny Secrest said Yazzie's demeanor on the court is infectious.
"I really like when she gets like that, because most of our team is really mellow," he said. "So it's nice to have someone like that who can get the team excited every once in a while."
Farmington's comeback efforts fell short to the Lady Broncos in the 50-44 loss, but the fire Yazzie displayed seems to have had a long-term effect on her team.
Over the weekend in Albuquerque, FHS handily defeated Atrisco Heritage Academy on Friday night and St. Pius X on Saturday afternoon to get back to .500 on the season with a 7-7 record.
Yazzie dropped a game-high 31 points against St. Pius. She couldn't miss in the fourth quarter, knocking down all four of her 3-point attempts.
"That was really fun, really exciting," Yazzie said of her fourth-quarter hot streak. "I attribute my successes to our coaches for getting us ready for that game and my teammates for showing excellent court vision and seeing me open. I just did my part."
Now in her fourth year on varsity, Yazzie's offensive game is finally starting to blossom.
"She's grown immensely with us. She was much more defensive-minded in her first few years," Secrest said. "It's nice because now she knows how to spread the floor. We don't have to be so congested inside because she can penetrate, kick and shoot, and get our perimeter game going."
This season, the Lady Scorps have flashed a nice inside-outside game at times, with three 5-foot-10 girls in the rotation as well as Yazzie's all-around ability on the outside.
Passing the ball like her favorite player, former NBA point guard Steve Nash, is something Yazzie loves to do. And the Farmington front-court players are some of her favorite targets.
"I remember watching a game one time where Steve Nash had like 25 assists. So that's something I really love to do — is the pass ball," she said. "Especially getting the ball to our bigs down low and letting them work."
Farmington starts a whole new season when district play begins this week. After winning three of their last four games, the Lady Scorps will open their district schedule on Thursday when they take on Miyamura at home.
With a surplus of talented guards in District 1-5A — like Piedra Vista's Nykki Benally and Gallup's Shenoah Begay — coach Secrest said he's happy to have a talented veteran like Yazzie on his side to lead the offense.
"It's nice to have a senior leader like that who always wants the ball in her hands," Secrest said. "She controls the ball about 75 to 80 percent of the time, only time she doesn't really is when she's on the bench. When she rolls, we roll."
Yazzie currently has a 4.8 GPA and plans to major in environmental engineering. She has garnered interest from Southern Virginia University women's basketball head coach Heather Roberts, who is encouraging her to accept a scholarship there and try out for the team as a walk-on. Yazzie is also considering attending Brigham Young University.
Jake Newby covers sports for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4577.
A closer look: Meeya Yazzie
1. Favorite team?
2. Favorite athlete?
3. Favorite food?
"Hamburgers and fries."
4. Favorite movie?
"'Lord of the Rings' trilogy."
5. Favorite subject in school?
"Physics C Mechanics."
6. Least favorite subject?
"I don't think I have one."
7. Biggest fear?
8. Do you play any other sports?
9. What is the first thing you would do with $1 million?
"Pay my tithing and save it for college."
10. Do you have any pregame rituals?
"Before the game, our team comes together, and we set our personal and team goals while eating raspberries and blackberries."