POLACCA — Tuba City pulled away in the third quarter to beat Hopi, 68-44, in girls high school basketball action Jan. 29.
Tuba City improved to 18-4 overall and 8-2 in the 3A North as the Lady Warriors remain one game behind Monument Valley and Winslow. Hopi fell to 4-15 overall and 1-10 in the 3A North.
Jessica Tsingine poured in 20 point, Alicia Slim netted 14 and Brandi Atene pitched in with eight points for Tuba City. Stacie Tsingine tossed in seven, Kayli Nockideneh chipped in with a half dozen points, Natasha Hatathlie and Kimberly Tsinnie scored four each and Roshanna Johnson and LaShonda Martin added a deuce apiece.
Deidra Jones topped Hopi with 16 and Eudora Nodestine netted 11. Delaine Numkena scored a half dozen, Iva Sahneyah tossed in four points, Mallorie Ovah pitched in with three and Erynne Zahne and Rozanna Nasafotie scored a deuce each. Hopi remained within six points half way through the third quarter before the Lady Warriors rallied to victory.
Slim started the scoring with a foul shot and Nodestine countered with a layup to put Hopi ahead 2-1.
Tuba City took control of the game by scoring the next 13 points: Slim led the surge with five points, Hatathlie four and Jessica Tsingine and Atene had two apiece as the Lady Warriors zoomed ahead 14-2.
Hopi closed the quarter with a 6-3 spurt to pull within 17-8. Slim poured in eight points in the opening period to lead the Lady Warriors. Nodestine countered with four points for Hopi.
Tuba City opened the second quarter with a 7-4 spurt.
Slim drained a trey, Jessica Tsingine hit two foul shots and Nockideneh hit a short jumper as the Lady Warriors led 24-12 with 5:30 left in the half. Both teams went more than three minutes without scoring as they exchanged turnovers and missed shots.
When scoring resumed, Tuba City had a 6-3 spurt. Atene hit a jumper and Jones responded with a layup for Hopi. Jessica Tsingine and Jones exchanged a foul shot each before Atene drained a trey as the Lady Warriors went into the lockerroom with a 30-15 cushion.
Atene netted five points in the second quarter to lead the Lady Warriors. Tuba City maintained a 13-point lead in the early part of the third quarter before Hopi made a comeback.
Jessica Tsingine put in a layup to give the Lady Warriors a 33-20 edge with 5:24 left in the third.
Hopi then went on a seven-point tear: Numkena drilled a jumper, Jones had a three-point play and a jumper as the Bruins pulled within 33-27 with 4:10 to go in the third.
Tsingine and Numkena exchanged layups as Hopi remained within 35-29 with 3:20 left in the third.
Tuba City put the game away with a nine-point surge: Jessica Tsingine drained a trey and sank a layup, Nockideneh connected on a jumper and Martin hit a layup as the Lady Warriors zoomed ahead 44-29.
Nasafotie and Stacie Tsingine exchanged baskets to end the third quarter as Tuba City pulled ahead 46-31.
Jessica Tsingine and Deidra Jones had nine points each in the third quarter for their respective teams.
Nodestine hit consecutive layups for Hopi to start the final period as the Bruins pulled within 46-35. Hopi stayed within 11-13 points in the early going of the fourth quarter. Zahne hit a jumper to pull Hopi within 53-41 with 4:25 left in the game.
Tuba City then put the game away with 13 consecutive points. Jessica Tsingine led the final rally with six points.
Tuba City Coach Jamie Roe said the Lady Warriors had an up and down game.
“We had some good runs. I wish we could have been more consistent,” he said.
Coach Roe said the Lady Warriors did a good job of getting the ball inside, but he noted that Tuba City’s full court press in the first quarter worked and gave
the Lady Warriors the early advantage.
Hopi committed 12 turnovers in the first quarter.
Roe said Tuba City’s defense was sporadic. He credited Slim, Jessica Tsingine and Martin with leading the defense.
“When we buckled down on defense, we looked good,” he said. “We got a lot of good minutes out of our bench.
It was a good team effort, a good team win.”
Coach Roe said the Lady Warrior rebounding was not good enough in the first half, but came on strong in the second half.
Both teams finished with 28 rebounds. Jones led Hopi with 11 rebounds.
Tuba City will host Monument Valley on Saturday.
“Every time we play them it’s a good (close) game,” he said.
Coach Roe said anything can happen at the conference tournament. While Winslow, Monument Valley and Tuba City should be in the top three, Coach Roe said Ganado
and Window Rock cannot be counted out.
“Don’t count out Hopi either. They’re scrappy,” he said.
(Stan Bindell, former Observer editor, is journalism and radio teacher at Hopi High School.)