Shiprock blows by Farmington 69-38 at home

Melanie Secody and Tanisha Begay combined for 33 points

Jake Newby

SHIPROCK — The Lady Chieftains were ready for anything the Farmington girls basketball team threw their way tonight at the Chieftain Pit.

Shiprock's Melanie Secody (10) goes for a layup on Monday against Farmington at the Chieftain Pit in Shiprock.

Shiprock coach Larenson Henderson praised the Lady Chiefs (4-2) for finding ways to score against multiple FHS (2-4) defensive looks in picking up a lopsided 69-38 victory at home.

"Whatever defense is thrown at us, we gotta be able to adapt right away," Henderson said. "Against Bloomfield, they threw zone on us, we weren't ready for it. We played (Piedra Vista), they threw man at us, and we kinda went with PV's tempo. Tonight, I think, whatever Farmington threw against us, we were ready for it."

Melanie Secody and Tanisha Begay were two players who dominated Farmington's defense, scoring 17 and 16 points, respectively. Secody said she was able to attack the basket.

"They were overloading a lot, so we could take a bunch of shots and take them to the basket," she said.

The Lady Chieftains were in firm control of the game after the opening quarter with a 16-4 lead. Farmington was stuck on 2 points for more than half of the opening frame and never got into a groove on offense. The Lady Scorps played at Shiprock's fast pace far too much for FHS coach Brady Rivers' liking.

Farmington's Ha'teya Holloman attempts a shot against Shiprock's Tanisha Begay on Monday at the Chieftain Pit in Shiprock.

"We're not a running team. We do everything in a slow, disciplined manner," Rivers said. "We don't have the players like Shiprock does, who play all-year around. We played at their pace, and the score showed it."

Shiprock took a 36-20 lead into halftime. The hosts played even faster after the break, and did so without sacrificing their discipline. Secody said that's one aspect of the game that Henderson wanted to see his players improve on after Shiprock's 1-point loss to PV on Saturday.

"He told us to have more discipline and control the ball more," Secody said. "And to pass the ball around more and look for options."

Shiprock certainly utilized its options. After Secody and Begay, Paige Dale was next on the score sheet with 10 points for the Lady Chiefs. Chamika Begaye was one of the Shiprock options who kept her foot on the gas after halftime, scoring all 8 of her points in the third and fourth quarters.

Ahead by more than 30 points in the fourth, Shiprock deployed its starting five for half of the quarter. Henderson said he kept his best players in the game even though it was well in hand because he didn't feel like they were hustling enough in the third quarter.

Shiprock's Paige Dale shoots a 3-pointer against Farmington's Lyla Denny on Monday at the Chieftain Pit in Shiprock.

"I felt like they needed to play while being tired," Henderson said. "We kind of jogged back on a couple of defensive efforts, and I was kind of upset with that. I don't care if you're tired, you still gotta hustle back."

Next up for the Lady Chiefs is the Choice Wireless Classic in Chinle, Ariz. Their first contest in the tournament will be at 4:30 p.m. Thursday, against the winner of a game between Greyhills Academy, Ariz., and San Carlos, Ariz.

Farmington, which was paced in scoring by Celeste Coolidge and her 10 points, is off until Dec. 13, when the Lady Scorps visit Durango, Colo. Rivers said his girls have plenty to work on during their week off.

"Getting to our spots, running our offense the correct way, running the press-break the correct way," Rivers said. "Even running defense the correct way, running everything the correct way."

Jake Newby covers sports for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4577.