FARMINGTON — The Shiprock girls basketball team couldn’t pay Hope Christian back for defeating the Lady Chieftains in last year’s 4A state title game, but coach Larenson Henderson was proud of his team’s effort nonetheless.
Hope (14-2) pulled away from Shiprock (15-4) inside the game’s final minute and claimed the Hope Christian Tournament championship today by winning 57-49.
Shiprock’s big three — Tanisha Begay, Paige Dale and Melanie Secody — earned all-tournament honors.
“Hope had basically everybody back from last year, and for Tanisha, Paige and Melanie to only be our three players with really any experience, I’m proud of the way we played basketball today,” Henderson said. “Our group of young girls came in and battled. They did a really good job.”
In a game that saw many lead changes, Shiprock took a 2-point lead into halftime. The Lady Chieftains only trailed by 3 points with 50 seconds left in the fourth quarter, but imploded a bit from that point on.
“They scored three layups in a row in the last 50 seconds,” Henderson said. “We would have good looks (on offense) but miss some short jump shots -— in and out, in and out. Hope took advantage, quickly getting out and getting those layups.”
Begay had a team-high 16 points. Shiprock gets back to work Monday against Tohatchi (12-5) at home.
Los Lunas 52, Bloomfield 44
The Lady Bobcats came out flat and sluggish in their third-place game at the Hope Christian Invitational today and fell to Los Lunas, a team they’ve beaten twice this year, 52-44 this afternoon in Albuquerque.
“We just didn’t show up,” Bloomfield coach Tom Adair said. “Los Lunas is a very good team. They’re scrappy, and we knew that, but for some reason, we came out flat.”
Kara Watchman led Bloomfield with 13 points and was named to the all-tournament team.
Adair said the standout player of the game for the Lady Bobcats was junior Mattie Waresback, who came off the bench to score 7 points.
Bloomfield will open play in District 1-5A by hosting Miyamura on Tuesday.
Adair said he hopes the loss to Los Lunas will serve as a wake-up call for the Lady Bobcats that they have to play with focus and intensity during every minute of a tough district schedule.
Shiprock 57, Taos 51
Shiprock's prowess at the free-throw line today helped the Chieftains pick up third place at the Hope Christian Tournament.
Shiprock took advantage of Taos’ inability to stay out of foul trouble by nailing 14 of its 20 fourth-quarter free throws and winning the game 57-51 in Albuquerque.
“It was neck and neck, back and forth, until the last three minutes or so,” Shiprock coach Chester Atcitty said. “We took care of the ball and took care of our one-and-one opportunities in the bonus.”
Landon Henderson dropped 16 points on the Tigers (8-9) and was named to the all-tournament team for Shiprock, along with teammate Arvin Begay, who scored 9.
The Chieftains (5-10) have a tough task ahead of them on Tuesday, when they play Durango, Colo., (9-1) on the road.
Bloomfield 63, Hot Springs 27
Slow starts were an issue for the Bloomfield boys basketball team in its first two games at the Hope Christian Invite this weekend. But the Bobcats put that behind them in their fifth-place game against Hot Springs, blitzing the Tigers for a 63-27 victory this afternoon in Albuquerque.
“They came out really well in the first half, and we jumped out to a 22-3 lead,” Bloomfield coach Randy Crockett said. “We tried to focus on having a good start, and once we did, it was pretty good from there.”
The Bobcats had balanced scoring during the game. Ty Padilla led the way with 20 points after connecting on five 3-pointers in the third quarter.
Adriano Stevenson, who was named to the all-tournament team, finished with 14, Brandon Charley added 10 and Rogelio Gonzalez chipped in 8 points.
Bloomfield now turns its focus to the District 1-5A schedule and will open district action against Miyamura on Thursday in Gallup.
Jake Newby covers sports for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4648.
Karl Schneider is the sports editor for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4648.