Lady Chiefs move into finals at Chinle tourney

Shiprock wins by double digits over Chinle, KC falls to Window Rock on second day of Choice Wireless Classic

Karl Schneider, and Jake Newby
Farmington Daily Times

FARMINGTON — The Shiprock girls basketball will play for the Choice Wireless Classic title after knocking off hosts Chinle, Ariz., 62-52 in the semifinals today in Chinle.

Basketball

The Lady Chieftains dominated the first three quarters of action and took a 55-39 lead into the fourth. But they struggled through the final quarter, scoring only 7 points.

“We were ahead and tried to tell the girls to be a little more disciplined with our execution to keep the lead,” Shiprock coach Larenson Henderson said. “We wanted to be a little more patient and get good shots in high-percentage areas, but we got kind of goofy with it. We started jacking up 3-pointers and shots we didn’t need, committed some turnovers. It took us out of our element.”

The Lady Chieftains had well-balanced scoring in the win.

Melony Secody led Shiprock with 16 points. Paige Dale added 15 and Tanisha Begay finished with 14.

Shiprock will face Page, Ariz., in the championship at 6 p.m. Saturday.

“I think we’ll be able to adjust to whatever defense is thrown at us, but we haven’t really seen Page play. They played earlier today, and we didn’t get a chance to scout them because we’ve been driving back (to Shiprock) every day.”

Window Rock, Ariz., 55, Kirtland Central 46

The Lady Broncos played twice in a span of 12 hours, and it showed today, as they were tripped up 55-46 by Window Rock, Ariz..

According to coach John Zecca, Kirtland Central didn't look like itself in the loss, which came in the consolation bracket of Chinle, Ariz's Choice Wireless Classic.

"We need to have more consistent effort," Zecca said. "Even last night, we scored more than 60, but a lot of our shots weren't falling. On both ends of the court, we're having a hard time finding consistency right now."

KC also fell on Thursday to Safford by a final score of 66-65.

Haile Gleason paced the Lady Broncos with 18 points in the loss to Window Rock.

KC gets Rough Rock, Ariz., at 3 p.m. Saturday in Chinle on the final day of the tournament.

Boys basketball

Navajo Prep 67, Whitehorse, Utah 57

Navajo Prep has shown huge improvement in the early parts of the season, and the proof was visible in tonight’s 67-57 win over Whitehorse, from Montezuma Creek, Utah, in the semifinals of the Eagles Classic tonight at the Eagles Nest.

Because of injuries, Prep has had to rely heavily on freshman Treston Yazzie and Lance Morris, and the duo came through, with Yazzie finishing with 23 points and Morris dishing out 12 assists.

“The two freshman really stepped up tonight,” Prep coach Rick Hoerner said. “The two freshman really grew up fast the last couple weeks after the Santa Fe Indian School tournament and then this one. They’ve been very impressive.”

The Eagles built a 21-point lead, holding Whitehorse to 19 points in the first half, before the Raiders made a push in the fourth quarter to get within 6 points a couple of times.

Anthony Pioche-Lee and Dylan Begay added 17 and 11 points, respectively.

The win moved Prep into the finals of its home tournament. The Eagles will face Kirtland Central’s junior varsity in the final at 3:30 p.m. Saturday.

Clovis 71, Aztec 52

The Tigers couldn’t keep Clovis in check during the fourth quarter and could only watch as a 3-point deficit ballooned to a 71-52 loss to the Wildcats at the Joe Armijo Tournament, hosted by Albuquerque Academy, today in Albuquerque.

The Tigers started well, building a 7-point lead in the second quarter, but as the game wore on, Clovis’ size and athleticism became too much for Aztec to keep up with.

“(Clovis) pulled away something fierce at the end. We had it to a 3-point game in the fourth, but the wheels kind of flew off on us,” Aztec coach Matthew Steinfeldt said. “Athletically, they had some guys go off. They had some kids who are a little more athletic and a little longer than us who created some issues for us.”

Steinfeldt said the Tigers continue to show improvement from game to game, but now they need to find a way to put together four full quarters of play.

Chase Morrison led Aztec with 16 points. Tanner Brooks added 10 for the Tigers.

Aztec will close out play at the tourney by facing Mayfield in the seventh-place game at 9:45 a.m. Saturday.