CHINLE - The Window Rock Lady Scouts won their fourth straight game with a convincing win over the Arizona 3A Region Number 2 seed, the Winslow Lady Bulldogs with a score of 69-52.
In a game contested before a sell out crowd of nearly 7,500 fans, the key to the Scout win was, "[Be] patient, calm, and under control, and [don't let] the crowd get into your head;" words uttered by Adrian Pete, 3A Girls North Region Coach of the Year.
Window Rock, led by Ashley Mitchell, Latiaja Johnson and Myra Watchmen, opened the scoring for the Lady Scouts with Winslow's Raquel Singer, Samantha Sam and Cassandra Jensen answering the opening bell for the Lady Bulldogs as the Scouts took a first quarter lead 17-13.
"It started out fast, basket for basket, back and forth," said Pete. "We played hard, we were set in defense and Winslow kept penetrating and shooting well.
Pete was speaking of the first quarter, but as the second quarter came around, the Scouts started shooting well as Raquel King and Tania Hatathlie joined Johnson, Watchman and Mitchell offensively taking control of the game with small spurts and a 10-0 run to take a 28 to 22 lead. Winslow sophomore Kourtney Shirley and Chissandra Jackson, Paige Shirley and Jensen kept pace with the Lady Scouts for the Lady Bulldogs to end the half trailing 33-30.
"In the locker room we talked about playing hard and the defense was going to win us championships," said Pete.
As the third period began, the Lady Scouts stepped up their zone press, forced turnovers and took control of the game outscoring the Lady Bulldogs 24 to 10 and took a commanding lead with a score of 57-40 going into the final period.
The fourth and final quarter was played even as both teams scored to 12 points apiece with the Lady Scouts taking the 3A Girls North Region Championship with a final score of 69 to 52.
"We didn't answer the bell in the second half, that's what hurt us," said Winslow Lady bulldogs head coach Don Petranovich.
"We're going to take one game at a time in the state tournament," commented Pete, when asked about the up and coming state tournament.
Third place game
Courtney Norberto scored a game high 23 points as the Lady Wildcats downed the previously Number one seed Lady Hornets of Ganado with a score of 45-39. Leandra Mark had 12 points and Shanda Benally contributed 11 points for the Lady Hornets.
Ganado took the lead at the end of the first quarter behind the scoring of Benally and Cory Slim, the Lady Wildcats countered with scoring from Norberto and Tia Gorman.
Norberto continued to score at will as Chinle kept pace with the Lady Hornets who were led by the 3A North Region Most Valuable Player, Leandra Mark. The first half end with the Hornets holding on to a single point lead, 36-25.
In the third period, the Lady Wildcats were sizzling as Norberto, Denetria Yazzie, Taneesha Watson and Nicoletta Tsosie combined for 14 points to take a eight point lead going into the final quarter with a score of 39-31.
The final quarter was even, as the Hornets scored eight points to the Wildcats' six, to secure a win for the Lady Wildcats of Chinle.
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