CHINLE, Ariz. - The Snowflake Lobos avoided an upset with a 53-51 win over the Tuba City Warriors in a closely contested game Feb. 12 at the Arizona State Division III Section I tournament held at the Chinle Wildcat Den in Chinle, Arizona.
The Lobos will sit out the opening round of the Arizona State Divisioin III tournament while they wait for the winner of Cholla and Moon Valley's first round match up. The Warriors traveled to Buckeye to play the Verrado Vipers Feb. 16.
Tuba City advanced to the semi-finals game with a 65-61 win over the Holbrook Roadrunners in first round action.
In other Division III Section I boys basketball action, the Window Rock Fighting Scouts were victorious over the Monument Valley Mustangs 62-60.
Snowflake 53 Tuba City 51
In an earlier meeting between the top contenders in the Arizona Division III Section I, the Lobos triumphed with a 31 point win over the Warriors 82-51.
"I know we were going to see different teams this time," said Snowflake head coach Andy Wood. "We plan to stick to our game plan, a half-court offense."
Tuba City coach Ryan Brown said the loss was motivation for the game and wanted the players to play hard.
"Pressure the ball defensively, get key turnovers and turn them into offensive points," Brown said.
Kurt Wood opened scoring for the Lobos, answered by a driving lay-in from Joseph Mathis for the first tie of the game at nine all. Warrior Urijah Yazzie's three-pointer sent the crowd into a frenzy with Tuba City leading 14-11.
Snowflake's Ty Pawlick hit two treys and added two free throws with time running out at intermission. After Warrior Davean Yazzie's three pointer the Lobos led 29-21.
"Keep up the defensive intensity," Brown said to his team during halftime.
The Warriors responded with a huge third frame scoring 16 points while holding the Lobos to only 11 points.
Mathis hit four buckets inside the perimeter and Yazzie scored six points of his game high 21 points in the quarter. Tuba City still trailed 40-37 as the quarter ended.
Snowflake had a huge final quarter going to the line nine times and hitting 11 free throws - a result of their post-up game, perimeter passes into the paint and fouls committed by Warriors. The Lobos converted 21 of 29 free throws on the night while the Warriors went to the charity strip only three times.
The game was tied three times in the final frame, once at 42 all. On the next Warrior possession, Yazzie hit a bucket, driving the paint and gave the the lead to Tuba City, 44-42. The Lobo's Dallin Chapman hit two free throws and tied the game at 44 apiece. Tuba City's Tristian Yazzie hit a wide open three tying the game 49-49, with a little over two minutes left in the game. Wood then drew two fouls with a 1:26 seconds left to seal the win for the Lobos 53 - 51.
"They played us tough," Wood said after the game. "They played a great physical game."
The Lobos were led by Jordan Garder with 14 points, Kegan Bjorn and Kurt Wood added 11 points each.
"Whew, it was a great game," Brown said after the game. "The boys now know that they can play with the best in the Arizona Division III. We are looking forward to playing in the state tournament."
Davean Yazzie led the Warriors with 21 points and Joseph Mathias contributed 15 points.
Window Rock 62 Monument Valley 60
The Window Rock Fighting Scouts (24-8) outlasted the Monument Valley Mustangs (11-13) by a score of 62 to 60 Feb. 10.
The Window Rock Fighting Scouts will sit out the opening round of the Arizona State Division III tournament while they wait for the winner of Flowing Wells and Pueblo Magnet first round match up. The Monument Valley Mustangs did not qualify for the 2016 Arizona State post season tournament.
Royce Charley erupted for 12 first quarter points and Kane Parrish eights points of his game high 15 points as the Mustangs combined for a 23 to 14 lead. Window Rock's Shammond Goodman, Koeby Emerson and Casey Billy answered with 14 points for the Scouts.
The Fighting Scout's Myron Wauneka scored nine points of Window Rock's 15 points to cut Monument Valley's lead outscoring the Mustangs 15 to 10 in the second frame. The Mustangs led 33 to 29 at the midway point.
The Fighting Scout's 13 points to the Mustang's output of nine points led to a 42 all tie as the third quarter ended.
The Scout's combined for 20 points, which was enough to secure the win. The Mustangs were scored a total of 18 points and fell short of the win.
Window Rock's Tyrose Brown scored nine points of his game high 17 points and Goodman added four points.
The Mustang's Merwin Sullivan's three treys, and the team's nine points only cut into the final score 62-60 in Window Rock's favor.
Brown scored 17 points, followed by Wauneka with 15 points and Goodman chipped in 11 points followed by Casey Billy's 10 markers.
Parrish led the Monument Valley Mustangs with a team high 15 points, Charley and Micahlos Hurley added 12 and 10 points.