TUBA CITY - The Hopi High School girls basketball team took second in the 2A North Regional tournament at Greyhills High School Feb. 8-9.
The Lady Bruins beat Red Mesa 56-42 in the opening round, edged Valley-Sanders 48-47 in the semi-final and eventually fell to St. Johns 66-57 in the championship game.
Hopi High Coach Ben Willey said the team played well in the tournament.
Nichole Kisto led Hopi with a season high 19 points in the Valley-Sanders game. Annalese "Nan" Nasafotie, Adrianna "Aila" Preston and Evanna James netted seven points apiece, Samantha Clah pitched in with three points, Ivy Honie, Danielle Tom and Cassandra Nash added two points apiece.
Talisha Tsosie topped Valley with 15 points, LaShonda Six tossed in 10 points, Deidra Mike netted eight and Marcy Nelson added a deuce.
Valley-Sanders led 16-14 after the first quarter and 25-23 at halftime. Hopi pulled within 34-33 going into the final quarter.
Kisto fired in eight points and Nasafotie added a half dozen points as Hopi pulled out the one point victory in the final period.
Coach Willey said Hopi played a great defensive game against Valley. Hopi was behind until late in the third quarter, but pulled ahead and led by five points with 18 seconds left in the game before fouls brought the Lady Pirates within one point.
"Overall, we played well. We only had 15 turnovers," he said. "Our defense caused a lot of turnovers."
Coach Willey said spark plug Danielle Tom played great defense on Valley's best offensive player, Evanna James played well against Valley's point guard and Nasafotie and Clah dominated on the backboards.
Danica Patterson led St. Johns in the regional championship game with 20 points, Megan Greer fired in 15, Sian Burdick poured in 14, and Jenna Udall and Dominique Farr netted four points apiece.
Tom paced Hopi with 18 points, Nasafotie poured in 17, Honie netted 10, Kisto pitched in with five, Preston finished with four and Clah added a deuce.
Greer fired in nine points in the opening period as St. Johns grabbed a 20-16 edge. Nasafotie and Tom countered with four points apiece for Hopi as the Lady Bruins stayed close.
Burdick scored four points in the second period as St. Johns led 35-23 at intermission. Nasafotie tossed in four points for Hopi during the quarter.
Honie fired in nine points and Tom added a half dozen as Hopi pulled within 49-41 after three quarters.
Patterson topped St. Johns with eight points.
Patterson netted nine points in the final period as St. Johns grabbed the victory. Tom poured in eight points and Nasafotie added six as Hopi kept the game competitive.
Coach Willey said Hopi played well except for a bad second quarter.
"If not for that we would have beat them. We had some lapses. On offense, we did what we wanted to do, but we rushed some of our shots in the second half," he said.
Coach Willey said their strategy worked in the first half of getting St. Johns in foul trouble, but they only hit two of eight free throws during that first half. He said Hopi played great defense.
"We outscrapped a much taller team," he said. "We boxed out and we came within three points several times in the second half, but we couldn't get over that hump."
Hopi played St. Johns even on the boards with Nasafotie, Preston and Clah leading the way on the backboards.
"I can't say enough about how hard our girls played. They played hard and well. St. Johns is a good team and they should do well at state, but so should we," he said.