POLACCA — Hopi High may be starting to jell as the Bruins won four of six games to finish second at the Round Valley boys basketball tournament. Hopi improved to 8-6 overall.
Hopi vs. Camp Verde
The Bruins exploded in the second half to beat Camp Verde, 67-45, in the opening round Dec. 11.
Tyler Pete fired in 25 points and Michael Schjang poured in 17 to lead Hopi. Matthew Honanie tossed in 13, Alden Suetopka added seven, Shane Cepai tossed in three and Vincent Timms scored a deuce.
Casey Thompson and Alex Lewis led Camp Verde with nine points each.
Thompson scored a half dozen points in the opening period as Camp Verde grabbed a 12-10 edge. Pete poured in three points, including hitting three treys in the second quarter, but the Cowboys led at halftime 28-26.
Schjang, Pete and Honanie scored five points each as Hopi zoomed ahead 43-35 after three periods. Pete netted another ten points and Schjang added seven as
Hopi outscored Camp Verde by 12 points in the fourth quarter as the Bruins cruised to the victory.
Hopi vs. Shiprock
Shiprock walloped Hopi, 84-60, in the second round Dec. 11.
Trevor Howe topped Shiprock with 22 points, Jeffrey Tome tossed in 20, Jerrick Poyer netted 15 and Reuben John scored seven.
Tyler Pete led Hopi with 21 points on seven treys, but he scored all of his points in the first half. Schjang netted 16, Honanie fired in 14, Cepai scored three,
Chris Sahu and Donovan David added a deuce apiece and Suetopka and Timms each hit a free throw.
Howe fired in 11 points in the opening quarter as Shiprock jumped ahead 28-17. Pete countered with a dozen points as Hopi pulled within 41-35 at halftime.
Howe and Poyer tossed in seven points each in the third quarter as Shiprock extended the lead to 67-52.
John scored seven points in the final quarter as Shiprock eased to the victory.
Hopi vs. Life Prep
Hopi demolished Life Prep, 75-54, in the third round Dec. 12.
Schjang fired in 27 points and Pete poured in 23 to pace Hopi. Honanie netted nine, Suetopka scored a half dozen, Timms tossed in four points, Sahu, Cepai and Lyndon Honytewa added a deuce each. Nate Mudick topped Life Prep with 23 points. Schjang fired in nine points in the opening frame as the Bruins grabbed a 21-9 edge. Schjang added seven points in the second stanza as Hopi led 39-24 at intermission.
Pete tossed in seven points in the third quarter as Hopi kept ahead, 54-41. Schjang netted nine and Pete added eight as the Bruins cruised to victory in the final period.
Hopi vs. Thatcher
Hopi used an explosive third quarter to beat Thatcher, 48-39, in the fourth round Dec. 12.
Schjang fired in 29 points, Honanie tossed in 10, Pete scored five and Suetopka added four. Brian Nelson led Thatcher with 16 points.
Nelson scored four points in the opening quarter as Thatcher took a 16-12 edge. Schjang scored five points in the second stanza as Hopi pulled within 26-25 at halftime.
Schjang fired in 10 points in the third quarter and the Hopi defense held Thatcher to four points as the Bruins grabbed a 38-30 edge. Schjang scored seven points in the fourth quarter as Hopi grabbed the victory.
Hopi vs. Safford
Hopi built a small cushion in the first half and held on to beat Safford, 57-53, in the fifth round Dec. 13.
Pete poured in 23 points, Schjang fired in 18, Honanie netted nine, Suetopka added five and Timms put in a deuce for Hopi. Chris Taylor topped Safford with 15 points.
Pete netted eight points, including two treys, in the opening quarter as Hopi took a 14-12 edge. He hit another pair of treys in the second stanza as the Bruins zoomed to a 27-20 halftime lead.
Pete poured in nine points in the third quarter as Hopi led 42-34 after three quarters.
Taylor scored eight points in the fourth quarter as Safford tried to make a comeback, but Honanie hit seven of eight foul shots to seal the victory.
Hopi vs. Valley Christian
Valley Christian beat Hopi, 61-57, in the championship game Dec. 13.
Pete and Honanie led the Bruins with 18 points each, Schjang fired in 17 and Suetopka netted four points.
Bryon Botma topped Valley Christian, David Melhorn scored a dozen, Brian Roberts netted 10 points and Ben Bergsma added nine points.
Honanie scored eight points in the opening quarter, but Botma countered with five for Valley Christian as the score was tied, 10-10.
Pete poured in a dozen points in the second stanza, but the score remained tied, 29-29, at halftime.
Schjang scored nine points on three treys in the third quarter as Hopi jumped ahead 46-41 after three quarters.
But Botma poured in six points and Melhorn and Bergsman netted four each as Valley Christian pulled away to the victory.
Hopi led by three with 90 seconds to go before the game slipped away.
Hopi High Coach Mark Hall said the Bruins played “pretty darn good” throughout the tourney.
“We’re starting to jell as a team,” he said.
Coach Hall was happy Hopi beat Safford, since that’s one of the stronger teams from the south.
“Unfortunately, we have a 21 day layoff before our next game,” he said.
Hopi doesn’t play again until Jan. 6 when they host Ganado for their conference opener in the 3A North.
Coach Hall said he was happy with Hopi’s offense as the Bruins scored more than 60 points in each game except the Thatcher game. Thatcher went to a slowed-down offense.
“It was our second game that day, so they did us a favor by slowing it down,” he said.
Hall said Hopi played solid defense throughout the tourney.
“We didn’t do anything to hurt ourselves. We played man-to-man most of the way, with an occasional zone,” he said.
Coach Hall said he was also happy with the Hopi rebounding.
“We held our own against taller teams,” he said.
Tyler Pete is averaging 20 points and 11 rebounds. Mike Schjang is averaging 18 points and seven rebounds.
“Matthew Honanie is learning to play the point guard position and Alden Suetopka is improving despite continually playing against taller players,” the coach said.
(Stan Bindell is journalism and radio teacher at Hopi High School.)