The Winslow Lady Bulldogs basketball team ended the 2003 portion of their season on a roll with a seven game winning streak and a sparkling 10-1 record.
The Lady ‘Dogs have yet to taste defeat at the hands of an Arizona team. Only a two point defeat in the Gallup Invitational Tournament stands between them and an unblemished record.
The Winslow Winter Classic Tournament was a golden opportunity for this team to showcase its talents and they did not disappoint.
The Lady Bulldogs gave Coach Don Petranovich his 600th victory and his ninth Winter Classic crown. In doing so, they stormed past four opponents including highly talented fives from Flagstaff and Monument Valley.
This may be the deepest team Winslow fans have seen, though Petranovich always has a strong bench that contributes considerably. Most impressive is the defense played by these girls and their unselfishness on offense.
Pin-point passes set up relatively easy shots and you won’t see many teams, boys or girls, deny the passing lanes any better than this team does.
Winslow plays in the 3A North Region, the toughest region for girls’ basketball in the state, by far. It is not rare to see the last four teams standing all come from this region. Monument Valley and Tuba City are probably the most formidable regional opponents, but Window Rock and Ganado usually are dangerous opponents as well. Hopi, Greyhills and Pinon are all capable of taking care of a team that doesn’t take them seriously.
Outside the North Region, there are several teams that stand between the Lady Bulldogs and their ultimate goal.
Among there are the defending champion Round Valley Lady Elks. However, rumor has it that the Lady Elks will lose a couple of their better players before the season is over. If so, the defending champion may have a hard time even getting back to the state tournament.
Seton Catholic is probably the next most dangerous team from outside the region.
The Lady Sentinels have the height and the talent and a very determined and talented point guard. If this writer had to predict a final match-up it would be between Winslow and Seton Catholic. The Lady Sentinels will have improved over the team we saw at the Winter Classic, but the Lady Bulldogs will prevail.
After New Year’s, the Lady Bulldogs will meet Window Rock at Window Rock on Jan. 6 and host Monument Valley on Jan. 9 in a re-match of the Winslow Winter Classic finalists. This could be one of the most important dates on the schedule.
The entire remainder of the regular schedule is devoted to 3A North Region games and all are important. Winslow is at Pinon on Jan. 10 and hosts Hopi on Jan. 13.
On Jan. 15, the Lady Bulldogs are at Greyhills and on Jan. 17 they are at Tuba City in another potentially pivotal game. Winslow will host Ganado on Jan. 20 before journeying to Kayenta on Jan. 23 for a huge third meeting with Monument Valley. Pinon will be in Winslow on Jan. 24.
The Lady Bulldogs will visit Hopi on Jan. 27 and entertain Greyhills on Jan. 29 and Window Rock on Jan. 31. After a road game at Ganado on Feb. 3, the Lady Bulldogs will celebrate Senior Night and the final regular season game by hosting Tuba City on Feb. 5.
The elimination rounds of the 3A North Region Tournament will be played on Feb. 10 and 11 at the homes of the third and fourth place teams.
Winslow really should finish higher than that and not have to play until the semi-finals on Feb. 13 and 14 at Tuba City.
The state tournament will be played on Feb. 20 and 21 at Flagstaff and on Feb. 27 and 28 at America West Arena in Phoenix.
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