Navajo Prep Lady Eagles' Hailey Martin named Daily Times athlete of the month for March

Matt Hollinshead,

FARMINGTON — Hailey Martin shined when it mattered the most for Navajo Prep: under the bright lights of the 3A state basketball championships.

The Lady Eagles shooting guard, who was named the Daily Times’ top athlete for the month of March, was a disruptive force on both ends of the floor in the quarterfinals onward, helping guide Prep to its first state title in 11 years.

Martin generated key stops, including a seven-steal outing against West Las Vegas in the 3A semifinals, and did more than enough damage scoring in transition.

She also helped spearhead Prep’s double-team traps near the baselines, communicating with teammates on where to slide or where to drop back to.

Martin averaged 14 points and seven rebounds per game during the quarterfinals, semifinals and finals. She also earned 3A All-State First Team accolades.

Navajo Prep's Hailey Martin, seen here celebrating the Lady Eagles' 43-33 win over Tohatchi in the 3A girls basketball state championship game on Friday, March 13, 2020, at Dreamstyle Arena in Albuquerque, was among three Prep players who earned 3A All-State First Team honors.

Honorable mentions

Navajo Prep’s Tai Tai Woods

The Lady Eagles point guard came alive in the 3A finals against Tohatchi, leaving her mark with one signature play.

Although Woods scored just 13 points and did not receive 3A All-State honors, she found space beyond the foul line late in the third quarter.

Even with defenders closing in on her, she hit a dagger from more than 15 feet out and solidified Prep’s double-digit lead entering the final moments.

That play spoke volumes about the poise, awareness and big-game experience Woods brought from her time at Shiprock and Piedra Vista.

Woods hoisted her second blue trophy in four years.

Kirtland Central’s Tatelyn Manheimer

The Lady Broncos shooting guard concluded her tenure at KC on a solid note.

Manheimer scored 16 points, including 3-of-5 shooting from 3-point range, against district foe Gallup in the 4A quarterfinals, followed by an 18-point outing against Portales in the 4A semifinals.

Despite scoring just six points against eventual state champion Los Lunas in the 4A finals, Manheimer was named to the 4A All-State Second Team.

Piedra Vista’s Lanae Billy

The Lady Panthers forward had 10 points and eight rebounds against district foe and crosstown rival Farmington during the 5A quarterfinals, and she later carried PV’s offense on her back against Volcano Vista in the 5A semifinals.

Billy scored 21 points against Volcano Vista, taking 26 of PV’s 58 total shots from the floor.

Although PV’s season ended in the 5A semifinals, Billy was named to 5A All-State First Team.

Newcomb’s Deion Johnhat

Despite Newcomb’s 2A semifinals exit, the Skyhawks guard had a strong 2A state tournament showing.

Johnhat tallied 16 points and eight rebounds in the 2A quarterfinals against Menaul, followed by a double-double (12 points, 12 rebounds) in the 2A semifinals against eventual state champion Pecos.

Matt Hollinshead covers sports for the Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4577 and on Twitter at @MattH_717.

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