Coach Charlie Gover of the Tuba City Warriors has the weapons to defend the team’s Arizona State 3A Championship as the 2000-2001 campaign begins. Gover said recently that his squad would count on seven seniors to provide leadership toward that goal.
The Warriors finished the 1999-2000 season with a sparkling 28-4 record. Tuba City reached the Final Four America West Arena for the second year under Gover, won the Winslow Ames Ford Shootout Tournament and were runners-up in both the Page Invitational Tournament and the Enchantment Region Tournament. The Warriors were regular season regional champions.
Gover said that he would be relying on veteran senior starters Josh Allan, Lavar Martin and Eric Klain to carry much of the load. Seniors James Justice, Lance Martin, Tristan Kewanyama and Lloyd Billy contributed to the team’s success last season and are ready to defend the title they won then. Sophomore Mike Justice has been impressive in practice and could make his presence felt in the Warrior line-up.
The Enchantment Region has at least five teams, which could reach the state tournament and beyond according to Gover.
Ganado will field a veteran team with a predominately senior line-up. The Hornets qualified for the state tournament last season, but went in weakened by injuries. The Monument Valley Mustangs were a state play-off team last season and are always competitive in basketball. The Winslow Bulldogs lost a wealth of talent to graduation, but interim coach Paul Landis has the team playing aggressive defense and running. The Bulldogs should be in the battle for a state tournament berth. Window Rock missed the big show last season, but should be in the hunt this season. The Scouts are not used to sitting at home when state tournament time rolls around. Greyhills also could challenge for a tournament berth. The Knights believe they are ready to challenge the rest of the enchantment Region for that honor. Pinon is a long shot to get out of the region, playing in one of the toughest basketball leagues in the state. The Eagles would like to meet some success, though and have something to build upon when they move to the 2A North Region nest season.