Shiprock senior looking to make up for lost time

Forward Tia Woods bounces back from torn ACL

Matt Hollinshead,
Shiprock's Tia Woods, in black, works on foot speed drills during practice on Nov. 10. The senior forward is back in the rotation after missing the team's state title run last year with a torn right ACL.
  • Tia Woods hopes to lead the Shiprock girls basketball team to another state title this year.
  • Woods was so discouraged after her injury last year that she contemplated quitting.
  • Woods is playing alongside her sister, Tiontai, for the first time this season.

SHIPROCK – Tia Woods got to experience Shiprock’s 4A state title run last year, but not quite in the way she envisioned.

The Chieftains forward missed her junior year after tearing her right anterior cruciate ligament last September.

“It was hard,” Woods said.

But after ongoing rehabilitation, Woods is moving, turning and shuffling all around different spots on the floor this fall. With the limp virtually gone, she is seizing the chance to guide the team to winning back-to-back blue trophies.

“I’ve been waiting to play for a long time,” the senior said. “It was hard for me to watch and to sit there because I really like to play. I’ve been on here since (my) eighth-grade year, and it really sucked.”

Woods’ absence reached the point where she contemplated quitting altogether. Being away from her passion was almost too much for her to take.

But her younger sister, freshman point guard Tiontai Woods, persuaded her to stick it out.

Although she had to stay put on the bench, that time off the floor ended up providing some benefit.

It allowed her to observe what was happening on the floor and be ready to go facing opposing defenses for the 2017-2018 season, which began with Shiprock’s road game today at Gallup.

Now that Woods is healed and back in action, she’s glad to be a member of the team again.

It also means the two sisters are reunited, playing alongside each other in a live game for the first time.

“I’ve always dreamed about this, playing with her on the court. She’s really aggressive. She’s tough,” Tiontai Woods said.

Matt Hollinshead covers sports for the Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4577.