FLAGSTAFF — Hopi used tough defense to beat Mingus, 43-36, in girls high school basketball action in the opening round of the Pepsi Classic Thursday at Flagstaff High School Dec. 8.
Deidra Jones led Hopi with a dozen points. Hopi improved to 2-1.
Hopi High Coach Gwen Grant said the Lady Bruins started slowly, but picked it up at the end as they moved the ball really well.
“We all played well, but especially our bench,” she said.
Coach Grant said the Hopi defense played well throughout as they switched using zones and man-to-man defenses as well as using a full-court press. She said using these various defenses kept Mingus off balance.
Coach Grant said Hopi High could have done better rebounding.
“They were bigger than us. We could have boxed out better, but we held our own,” she said.
Savanna Anderson and Rozanna Nasafotie netted eight points each for Hopi, Candace Pocheoma tossed in six points, Eryne Zahne scored five, Marleita Burbank added two points and Terra Morgan and Carrie Sakeva each hit a foul shot.
Emily Potts paced Mingus with 15 points, Bri Young helped out with six points and Nicole Webb scored three.
Potts poured in eight points in the opening period as
Mingus grabbed an 11-8 edge. Jones fired in eight points and Jones added four as Hopi pulled within 22-20 at halftime.
Zahne led Hopi with five points in the third quarter as Hopi jumped ahead 31-26.
Pocheoma poured in six points in the final period as the Lady Bruins eased to the victory.
Hopi vs. Pinon
The Hopi High School girls basketball team claimed their first victory of the season Dec. 6.
Savanna Anderson fired in 13 points and Deidra Jones netted a dozen as Hopi beat Pinon, 49-41, in girls high school basketball action in Pinon. Hopi evened its record at 1-1.
For Hopi, Terra Morgan scored a half dozen points, Candace Pocheoma, Tracy Honani and Rozanna Nasafotie tossed in four points apiece, and Erynne Zahne, Tamecia Lomawaima and Marleita Burbank added two points each.
“We started hard and aggressive. Then we let up, but in the fourth quarter the girls did a good job staying focused. They got baskets, rebounds and foul shots when they needed to,” she said.
Coach Grant said the offense executed when they needed to do so. Anderson is the starting point guard, but the coach said she is continuing to look for her best starting five players.
Coach Grant said the defense did a great job with Jones leading the team vocally along with all the seniors.
“The seniors understand what I want,” she said.
Coach Grant said Hopi could have done a better job rebounding, but she said the Lady Bruin players hustled and boxed out.
“The rebounds late in the game were crucial to winning,” she said. “Everybody played well. Everyone contributed. It was a well-rounded team effort.”
(Stan Bindell, former Observer editor, is journalism and radio teacher at Hopi High School.)