SHIPROCK, New Mexico — The road to repeat as state champions is not easy; it starts with winning the first game of the 2018 New Mexico 4A state tournament, which the Shiprock Lady Chieftains did when they defeated the Lady Horsemen of St. Michaels 63-35.
“We are going to take one game at a time,” said Larenson Henderson, head coach of the Shiprock Lady Chieftains. “We are getting the girls to finish, playing four solid quarters of basketball, three quarters isn’t gonna cut it.”
The Lady Chieftains raced out to a quick 16-7, first quarter lead. The visiting Lady Horsemen outscored the Lady Chieftains, 18-13, in the second period, but still trailed, 29-25 at the half.
“We got out of our defensive pressure in the second quarter and left them back in the game,” Henderson said. “They put together a 21-3 run during the third frame and lead 50-28, going into the fourth quarter.”
With a 13-7 point advantage in the Lady Chieftains favor, they capped off the first step toward the state championship title, and possible repeat, winning 63-35.
“We didn’t pass the ball well in the first half,” Henderson said. “Once we picked up on our defense and started passing the ball well, we got back in control of the game.”
Tia Woods had ten points to lead the Lady Chieftains and Tiontai Woods and Evetle Lansing contributed nine points.
“They shot the lights out, hitting their threes,” said Martin Esquibel, St. Michael’s Lady Horsemen coach. “They all hit three pointers and isolated players they played hard.”
Carisa Padilla had a game high 15 points followed by Jodi Gormley with 13 points for the Lady Horsemen.