Oree Foster
Staff Writer, AZPreps365.com

Chinle Lady 'Cats chalk up impressive victory behind Begay, Claw

December 4, 2018 by Oree Foster, AZPreps365

Stacey Begay and Grayce Claw turned in stellar performances, utilizing their leadership, character and charisma, while pacing the Chinle Lady Wildcats to a 56-36 freedom game victory over the Show Low Cougars in girl's prep basketball action in Show Low.

Chinle head coach Francine McCurtain said Begay and Claw stepped up in the spotlight on both ends of the court.

"Stacey (Begay) and Grayce (Claw) displayed an awesome game of leadership," said McCurtain, former Washington State University and Northern Arizona University women's basketball standout. "They (Begay and Claw) handled the ball very well and distributed when needed. The girls fed Stacey the bsll and Stacey went to work."

Chinle took an eight point lead, 12-4, at the end of the first quarter. The Lady Wildcats shot well and played strong defense in the second quarter. Chinle outscored Show Low, 14-7, to take a 26-11 halftime lead.

The Lady Wildcats extended its lead in the third quarter. Chinle tallied 14 points, containing Show Low to nine points. Chinle held a 40-20 lead when the third period expired. Chinle and Show Low both tallied 16 points apiece during the fourth quarter.

Chinle's Stacey Begay rattled the cages for a game high 25 points. Grayce Claw added 13 points and Dashawna Yazzie tallied six points in a winning effprt for the Lady Wildcats.

"Show Low did a great job on defense, which gave us too many unforced turnovers," McCurtain said. "But my team veterans handled it very well, by keeping their composure and running on their fast breaks. Overall, we did well and looking forward to our own tournament this weekend."

Chinle hosts its Choice Wireless Classic this Thursday through Saturday at the Wildcat Den in Chinle.

Chinle has a first round bye on Thursday. The Lady Wildcats face the winner of the Red Mesa / Mayer contest at 6 p.m. on Thursday.


Holbrook 57, Ganado 56 (OT)

Down by eight points with less than one minute remaining in regulation play, Holbook utilized a strong defensive effort, forcing Ganado's offense into costly turnovers.

As a result, the Lady Roadrunners edged the Ganado Lady Hornets, 57-56, in overtime in Tony Munoz Gymnasium in Holbrook in a freedom game.

Holbrook head coach Greg Perkins said the Lady Roadrunners played its hearts out throughout the entire game. Perkins said the Lady Roadrunners refused to lose.

"Our defense stepped up in the fourth quarter, especially during the final minute of regulation play," Perkins said. "Our defense made stops and forced Ganado to turn the ball over. Our defense made steals and converted for baskets. Madison Chappell made a key steal and made a key basket to tie the game in regulation play. We made key baskets in regulation play to force an overtime."

Ganado took a 12-6 lead at the end of the first quarter. The tempo of the game slowed down in the second quarter. The Lady Hornets outscored the Lady Roadrunners, 9-8, to hold a 21-14 halftime lead.

Holbrook rallied for 18 points, while Ganado scored seven points in the third quarter. The Lady Roadrunners took a 32-28 lead. The Lady Hornets and Lady Roadrunners stepped up offensively in the fourth quarter. Ganado scorched the cords for 27 points and Holbrook tallied 23 points in the fourth quarter, sending the game into overtime.

In a low scoring overtime period, Holbrook canned a basket and Ganado made a free throw.

Madison Chappell tallied 16 points, while Megan Cummings added 15 points and Mika Joe knocked down 11 points for Holbrook.

Topping Ganado was Abigail Benally with 31 points. Benally pumped in 7 3-points for the game.

"The girls hung on to a victory," Perkins said. "Ganado is a good team. Ganado has speed. Abigail Benally is a good shooter. She shot well from the three-point arc. Our girls showed character. It was a good win for our program."

Holbrook, 3-1, host Fountain Hills this Friday in a freedom game.

Ganado entertains Red Mesa next Tuesday, December 11.


Chinle 58, Show Low 44

Chinle Wildcats turned a close game into a 14-point victory, 58-44, over the Show Low Cougars in a freedom boy's basketball game in Show Low.

Chinle shot well during the first quarter. The Wildcats took a 16-7 lead. Show Low came storming back in the second quarter, tallying 13 points to Chinle's eight points. The Wildcats held a 24-20 lead at halftime.

The Wildcats turned on the heat in the third quarter, scorching the cords for 21 points. The Cougars managed nine points. Chinle extended its advantage to 45-29 at the end of the third frame. Show Low outscored Chinle, 15-13, during the fourth period.

"Offensively, we played well in the first quarter and early part of the third quarter, which got us a good lead and led us to the victory in the game," said Chinle head coach Raul Mendoza.

Cooper Burbank poured in 22 points to lead Chinle. Curtis Begay added 13 points and Cory Nakai tallied nine points for Chinle.

C. McGinnis netted 12 points and A. Villalla added 10 points for Show Low.

Chinle remains undefeated in the young season. The Wildcats hosts its Choice Wireless Classic in the Wildcat Den in Chinle this Thursday through Saturday. Chinle faces the Rock Point Cougars this Thursday at 7:30 p.m. in the first round of the tournament.


Holbrook 59, Ganado 31

The Holbrook Roadrunners posted a 59-31 boy's freedom game victory over the Ganado Hornets at Tony Munoz Gym in Holbrook.

The tempo of the game was slow in the first quarter. Holbrook held a 10-6 lead. Both teams stepped up offensively in the second quarter. The Roadrunners canned 20 points to the Hornets' 15 points. Holbrook took a 30-21 lead at halftime.

The Roadrunners outscored the Hornets, 12-3 in the third period. Holbrook extended its lead to 42-24 at the end of the third quarter. Holbrook netted 17 points during the fourth quarter, while Ganado could score seven points.

Holbrook head coach Delmar Johnson said is small and scrappy team, with a lot of heart and no quit in their team.

"Overall we need to get better on the offensive end and play better defense in the half court by helping and recovering to our man," Johnson said. "It was a win we needed to gain some confidence. We played with no energy in the first quarter against a very energized Ganado team."

Johnson said the Roadrunners played much better on both ends of the floor in the second half.

"We played with energy and pace to score 20 points in the second quarter," Johnson said. "We outscored Ganado, 29-10, in the second half to pick up the pace to get easy baskets with our pressure to win the game."

Kobi Koerperich knocked down 14 points, followed by Damien Clark with 13 points and Josiah Freddie added 12 points for Holbrook.

Holbrook entertains Fountain Hills this Friday in a freedom game at 7:30 p.m.

Wacey Benward canned 10 points for Ganado.

Ganado wil be participating in the Pepsi Invitational in Flagstaff this Thursday through Saturday.