WINSLOW, Ariz. - Winslow High School basketball fans saw the Bulldog boys' season end with a loss to Thatcher in the Division III State Tournament Feb. 18. The team still wound up with an excellent record and plenty of reason to expect good seasons next year and in the years to come.
The Bulldogs were successful at all levels with winning records in varsity competition, an undefeated junior varsity team and an exceptional freshman squad.
The Bulldog varsity posted a 20-13 record under coach Ricky Greer and varsity assistant Paul Landis, junior varsity coach Nathan Brady and freshman coach Zach French. The varsity team graduates 10 players after this season: Cory Dixon, Keenan Keams, Demetrius Gamez, Milland Thomas, Stevin Nelson, Frank Kelly, Trevor Begay, Jesi Bitsoi, Vincenzio Sells and Andrew Greenwood.
Returning varsity players include juniors Trelonnie Sanders, Austyn Mattox and Savion Fuller and sophomores Dalvin Benally and Akkeem Foster. The bulk of the varsity team next season will likely be players moving up from the undefeated junior varsity team and the 15-2 freshman team.
The junior varsity boys' basketball team stormed through their opposition for an undefeated 19-0 season. Brady who won a state championship as the girls' varsity coach at Ganado High School coached the team. He is a graduate of Winslow High School and played as a Bulldog.
Players on the team included Devon Flanagan, Kordell McReeves, Rory Billie, Ray Chavez Velez, Kuster Kinlecheenie, Jalen Brady, Truman Tso, Dalvin Benally, Trevon Flanagan, Nathan Hanley, Cody Runyan, Tylon Yazzie, Luke Hunt, Akkeem Foster, Jalen Tapaha and Nicholas Aberle.
The junior varsity Bulldogs won all but three of their games by more than 10 points. Their closest game was a narrow 47-45 win over the Flagstaff Eagles junior varsity Jan. 15 in Flagstaff. In that game Winslow came from behind to pull out the victory. They led 11-10 after the first quarter but trailed 29-21 at the half and 34-33 after three quarters. The team outscored Flagstaff 14-11 in the final period to secure the victory.
Other close games inclued a 57-53 win over Snowflake in Snowflake on Feb. 7 in the final game of the season and a 68-61 win over Holbrook in Winslow Jan. 25. A 77-66 win over Mingus at Winslow on Jan. 20 was the next closest contest.
The Winslow freshman boys basketball team under French plowed their way to an excellent 15-2 record.
The roster was composed of Pete Dalgai, Rory Billie, Robert Nelson, Jalon Tapaha, Treavor Cly, Ryan Kinlacheeny, Trishane Cly, Korey McReeves, John Stacey, Garrison Jimmie, Jalen Hayes and Robert Rockwell.
The freshman Bulldogs lost only two games. The first loss was to Chinle at Chinle 61-59 Dec. 17 and the second was to Flagstaff in Flagstaff 61-52 Jan. 15. The Chinle game was a heartbreaker as Chinle came from behind 41-31 after three quarters to tie the game and outscore the Bulldogs 8-6 in the overtime period.
The closest of Winslow's 15 wins was a 50-49 victory over Monument Valley in Winslow Jan. 25. The Bulldogs led 24-6 after a quarter and 30-18 at the half but saw Monument Valley close the margin to 34-31 after three quarters and to a single point at the final buzzer. Other close wins included a 61-55 win over Holbrook at Holbrook Jan. 29, a 46-40 win over Snowflake at Snowflake Feb. 7 in the last game of the season and a 62-54 win over Mingus at Winslow Jan. 20.