FLAGSTAFF - The Ganado Lady Hornets (25-4) qualified for a return trip to "February Frenzy," the 2008 Arizona State 3A Basketball Championships in Glendale after narrowly escaping with a three-point win over the Window Rock Lady Scouts with a score of 46 - 43.
After losing two games at the Arizona 3A North Region championships, Lady Hornet head coach Pete Butler commented, "We had to make some adjustments attributed to my assistants. They worked hard. They reviewed game tapes, found some key areas where we could adjust and [then] we got ready to play Chinle and Window Rock. Bottom line, the girls did not want to lose. They came in focused and prepared to win."
In opening action, the Lady Hornets won over the Chinle Lady Wildcats with a score of 58 - 45. The Window Rock Lady Scouts defeated the Payson Lady Longhorns with a score of 76 - 60 to advance to the state quarterfinals.
Opening game highlights
Ganado 46, Window Rock 43
Ganado and Window Rock met previously in the 3A North Regional tournament with the Lady Scouts outlasting the Lady Hornets in the semifinals with a score of 67-43.
The 3A North Region's Most Valuable Player, sophomore Leandra Lynch, led all scores with a game high 17 points and senior Shanda Benally added 16 points for the Lady Hornets.
Freshman Ashley Mitchell and senior Tania Hatathlie had 16 and 10 points respectively for Window Rock. The Lady Scouts end their season at 18 - 11.
Ganado 58, Chinle 45
Sophomore Leandra Lynch scored 25 points and senior Leandra Mark added 10 for the Lady Hornets in a rematch of the 3A North Region third place game, which the Chinle Lady Wildcats had won.
Senior Courtney Norberto had 23 points followed by senior Denetria Yazzie with 10 points as the Lady Wildcats finished the season 19 -13.
Window Rock 76, Payson 60
Four Window Rock Lady Scouts scored in double figures in their opening round victory over the Payson Lady Longhorns. The Lady Scouts were led by freshman Ashley Mitchell with 16 points. Senior Tania Hatathlie added 15 points, freshman Coralie Clark followed with 12 points and senior Raquel King pitched in 10 points.
The Lady Longhorns were led by juniors Kayla Morgan and Christian Deaton with 18 and 16 points respectively.
Chinle Wildcats claw their way to the 'Big Show'
Wildcats are the lone survivors of 3A North, will meet the Wolves of Estrella Foothills
FLAGSTAFF - "Lots of people here, lots of excitement. That's the fans, its everybody supporting the kids from the north, [it's] very exciting," said Chinle head coach Steve Scott. "Lots of pressure playing in the state tournament. I am happy for the kids. They get to play in Phoenix."
The Chinle Wildcats were the lone survivors from the 3A North Region, making the final four and earning their way to Jobing.com Arena in Glendale to play Arizona's number one seeded team, the Estrella Foothills Wolves tomorrow at 12:15 pm. as final round play continues in "February Frenzy," the 2008 Arizona State 3A Basketball Championships.
The Wildcats posted a 56 - 52 win over the Monument Valley Mustangs, including an opening round win over the Tuba City Warriors with a score of 71 - 60. The Mustangs posted a win over the Maricopa Rams with a score of 74 - 60 to advance to the quarterfinals at Northern Arizona University's J. Lawrence Walkup Skydome.
Senior Lyle Tsosie got a bucket off the opening tip and Junior Mathias hit a money ball with 5:00 left in the first quarter. This 5 - 0 run would prove to be the margin of victory for the Wildcats. Senior Ned Nez and Junior Denzel Harvey got into the act in a re-match of the 3A North Region Championship game (which the Wildcats won) as they combined for a 14 to 13 point first quarter lead.
The Mustangs answered the Wildcats' opening quarter run with a trey after two free throws from Josephe Seaton, back-to-back buckets from Byron Davis and scoring from Aaron Armendez and Preston Luna.
Senior Ryan Young pushed the ball through the paint past the Wildcats for a basket to open the second quarter. The Wildcats immediately started an 8 - 0 run with 6:45 left in the second period to lead 22 to 15. The Wildcats and Mustangs traded buckets throughout the period. Denzel hit an off balance banker for Chinle and Monument Valley's Marvin Russell hit a three-ball as the period ended with a narrow two-point lead for the Wildcats, 26 - 24.
With sixteen minutes to go, Chinle's Nez hit on a 12-foot leaning bucket, drove the lane and was fouled, but didn't connect. The next move belonged to Monument Valley's 3A North Region Coach of Year, Jacob Holiday as he called on the Region's Most Valuable Player, senior Reggie Todachine. The Mustangs fans erupted and were on their feet yelling, "Reggie, Reggie..."
"I want to go out like this," Todachine later said. He rode the pine for eight consecutive quarters, after a sideline injury in the first half of 3A North Region championships.
With the crowd on their feet sensing a momentum swing, the Mustangs reeled off nine unanswered points. The run ended when Davis found Todachine who broke free for a lay up with 4:15 left in the quarter.
Not to be outdone, Chinle's Harvey drove the paint, was fouled and converted. On the next possession, Harvey went inside again for a bucket and one to tie the game at 33. The Mustangs outscored the Wildcats 11 - 9 in the quarter and tied the game again with a score of 35 - 35.
The Wildcats and Mustangs went toe-to-toe to open the final period as they traded buckets. It was mostly Harvey, Nez, and Tsosie for the Wildcats as the Mustangs answered with the combination of Davis, Seaton, Young and Todachine. Chinle outscored Monument Valley 26 to 17.
Senior Isiah Leslie, Nez, Tsosie and Harvey spent the latter half of the final period on the charity line, connecting on 11 of 17 free throws to seal the win with a final score of 56 - 52.
"Unfortunately our season came to an end tonight, but we can't take back from some of the things we accomplished, [such as] winning the championship in Kirtland, NM (Webb-Toyota Invitational Tournament), winning a first round game of the state tournament in over five years and the regular season title of the 3A North Region," said coach Holiday.
"I am proud of my team, these young men played their hearts out. This attributes to where they [came] from, who they are. They come from great families," he added.
Monument Valley finished the season at 21 - 7. Denzel Harvey led Chinle with a game high 21 points, Lyle Tsosie added 18 points. Josephe Seaton and Byron Davis had 18 and 12 points respectively for the Monument Valley Mustangs.
Opening round scores
Chinle 71, Tuba City 60
Denzel Harvey had a game high 20 points to pace the Chinle Wildcats over the Tuba City Warriors (11-13). Lyle Tsosie added 14 points and Nick Nez pitched in 12 points.
Seniors Maurice Brown, Kellen Bennett and Jacob Justice had 16, 15 and 10 points respectively for the Warriors.
Monument Valley 74, Maricopa 60
The Mustangs were led by senior Josephe Seaton with 24 points. Senior Ryan Young added 23 points in an opening round win over Maricopa
74 - 60.
Justin Zabawa had a game high 25 points and Jewuan Crosby followed with 20 points for Maricopa.