By Stan Bindell
POLACCA, Arizona — Cisco Mata poured in 28 points and Davin Leslie fired in 27 as Hopi High School blistered Red Mesa, 92-60, on Wednesday, February 7, in the opening round of the boys basketball 2A North Regional Tournament.
Hopi improved to 8-15 overall and 6-5 in the 2A North. More importantly, the Bruins assured themselves of a trip to the state playoffs and finishing among the top 3 in the 2A North tourney.
Red Mesa finished the season with a 13-12 mark overall, but only winning four of 11 against conference foes.
Leslie and Mata played a game of Mr. Inside and Mr. Outside. Leslie hit six treys and an array of short jumpers while Mata scored off of lay-ups — some off of fastbreaks and others off the half-court setup offense. Dellen Lomayestewa pitched in with 11, Matthew Honanie tossed in eight, Chris Hawk netted seven, Garrick Jones and Emmett Navakuku scored four each, Sivayah Tootsie added a deuce and Ritchie Sahneyah scored a point for Hopi.
Jackson Brossy paced Red Mesa with 18 points, Uryan Shorty netted 11, Terry Warren pitched in with 10, Frederick Jones scored a half dozen, Theus Begay scored five, Peterson Brossy and Karlett Tsosie had four each and Duran Begay added a deuce.
Hopi High Coach Jeff Lambert called the victory the biggest of the year for the Bruins.
“This is also the best we’ve played all year as a team,” he said. “I told them (the players) in the locker room that we did not want a one point game tonight, that we had to come out and play like we’re capable. We were able to execute like we have in practice in every facet of the game.
“We’ve been saying all year what a good team we’ve got. We had to get them to believe what we (the coaches) knew: That we are an outstanding basketball team with a lot of talent — and we proved that tonight,” he said.