As Sam Sees It

Winslow High School will be hosting the Enchantment Region Basketball Tournaments for both boys and girls for the second consecutive year. This development came about when Tuba City officials decided that their new facility was not yet ready to host such a tournament.

WHS Athletic Director Don Petranovich will be conducting the eighth such event this season when the regional tournament begins. He was responsible for arranging the Ames Ford Shootout and the Winslow Winter Classic Basketball Tournaments in December, directed the Doc Wright Invitational Wrestling Tournament last week and will direct the Enchantment Region Wrestling Tournament next week. He was responsible for the Enchantment Region Volleyball and Cross Country Regionals and an Arizona State 3A Conference Play-off Game in November. Winslow will also host the Enchantment Region Baseball and Softball Tournaments at the end of those respective seasons.

Thanks to Petranovich's reputation for being able to organize events such as this on a short notice, Winslow will enjoy the benefits of being the host city to several thousand basketball fans who will be seeking meals and lodging within our community.

Basketball fans here should make a point of attending this tournament which will feature all four of the Arizona State 3A Girls' Basketball Tournament Final Four Teams and the final two boys teams. Tuba City produced state champions in both tournaments and Winslow finished a close second in both. Ganado and Monument Valley were both semi-finalists in the girls' tournament.

The Winslow Lady Bulldogs under Petranovich has been a perennial contender for a state title for over a quarter of a century. This year they feature one of the finest female basketball players you will ever see.

Francine McCurtain is one of the most complete players in the sport. She leads her team in scoring more often than not, but is probably an even better passer. Her defense is solid and would be drawing raves if her scoring ability and her pinpoint passes were not. She deserved to be on the All Arizona Team last season and probably would have been had she played in a 5A program. There is no excuse for her not being selected as such this season. She is arguably not just one of the five or six best players in the state, but the best.

Winslow, Tuba City, Monument Valley, Window Rock and Ganado all have teams in the girls' tournament which are capable of winning not just the Enchantment Region but a state title. Unfortunately, one of those fine squads will be eliminated before the final four competition starts.

Tuba City is just as strong this season as it was during its championship season last year. Monument Valley looks like a potential state title contender as well. Winslow, Ganado and Window Rock may not be quite as strong as the front runners, but are capable of scrapping their way into the state tournament may. Greyhills and Pinon also have the potential to knock off most anyone on a given night.

Winslow is indeed fortunate to be hosting this tournament again, especially so soon.

Sam Conner

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