IWES Lady Roadrunners win championship game to finish perfect season
The Indian Wells (IW) Elementary School Lady Roadrunners A team finished its basketball season on Feb. 12 winning the Nava-Hopi Area Junior High League (NHAJHL) championship for the second year in a row. The Roadrunners finished the season undefeated 14-0 and claimed the title with a 2-point victory over a tough Winslow squad.
Although the IW team rolled through the season undefeated it had some highs and lows.
Coach Cale Allen said one of the reasons they were successful was because his athletes embraced working as a team.
"Early on, I saw the older girls working with the younger girls to help them improve their game," Allen said. "Each was constantly encouraging the other and supporting each other. When one girl would have a bad game, she was continually supported by the rest of the team."
All thirteen players on the squad filled significant roles throughout the season. Allen said Tristen Ambrose and Sevanah Bitahy consistently gave strong performances. Shilaine Gorman and Megan Cummings sometimes sacrificed their own chances to score points with the goal of improving their teammates' skills. Allison Begay was a very tough player and one of the most aggressive. Veronica Manuel, a newcomer to the team, improved late in the year and was a strong rebounder underneath.
Coach Erica Chee also assisted the girls in developing their skills and teamwork.
The B team squad had a good season as well, finishing with a 5-3 record. During the final tournament, the seventh ranked Lady Birds were matched to play number eight-ranked Rocky Ridge. Chee said their opponent set up a good defensive zone making it difficult for the B team girls to get any inside shots. Although the IW team lost in the end, Patricia Bahe and Tachisna Dixson kept the girls motivated and the game alive.
All of this year's IW Lady Roadrunners represented their school with class. Allen said their sportsmanship and dedication to the game played a huge part in the A team's undefeated season and ultimate 2013 NHAJHL championship.