3A East basketball preview: Holbrook girls, boys hope to be state contenders
November 22, 2019 by Oree Foster, AZPreps365
Despite being relatively young last year, Holbrook's girl's team made a serious run at the 3A state championship, losing to the Page Lady Sand Devils in the state title game.
Holbrook's boy's squad returns five players from last year's team and hope to make a run at a state tournament appearance.
HOLBROOK LADY ROADRUNNERS
Holbrook returns five players from last year's 26-5 state runner-up team. The Lady Roadrunners completed the 3A East Region with a 9-1 record.
Holbrook head coach Greg Perkins begins his 12th year as the Lady Roadrunners skipper. Perkins has coached 26 years at Holbrook, which includes a stint as head boy's coach.
Senior Madison Chappell, a three-year starter, is expected to lead Holbrook. Chappell was the 3A East Region's Defensive Player of the Year and a First Team All-State selection.
Junior Matehya Aberle was Second Team All-State and will defintely be a force inside the paint with her height and ability.
Senior guard Desirae Bain, sophomore guard Talynn Spencer and sophomore guard Terry Nez are outstanding ball handlers and will push the ball up the floor.
Perkins said the team's strengths is the fact the Lady Roadrunners young team gained experience and playing time last year and this past summer.
"Our goal is to once again compete for a title," Perkins said. "Although heading into the season, I would say we are just a top 10 team. (Tucson) Sabino is nearly unbeatable. Tuba City, Page, Window Rock, Ganado, Monument Valley and Chinle, are all well coached and very tough. Winslow-Holbrook games are always a battle. Look out for Show Low this year as well."
Perkins noted that last year the Lady Roadrunners had little expectations and did okay.
"This year we have more expectations placed on us," Perkins said. "It will depend on how the girls handle those expectations. If we work hard enough, we can return to the (state tournament) Final Four, if not. Too many good teams above us that will end our season."
Holbrook entertains Chinle on November 25 for its regular season game opener.
Holbrook's Delmar Johnson returns for his sixth year as head coach, and 17th year coaching overall.
Five returnees boost Holbrook's program this year. Senior guard/forward Kobi Koerperich and junior guard Anthony Nelson lead the Roadrunners. Both players earned post season honors last year.
Joining Koerperich and Nelson are returnees, junior guard Damien Clark; senior guard/forward Eric Baldonado and senior forward/center Etan Bahe.
Holbrook completed the season 13-13 overall and 6-4 in 3A East Region.
Johnson said there are several areas of the game the Roadrunners need to work on to become a better team.
"Our strength will be our speed, quickness, full court pressure defense and shooting the basketball," Johnson said. "We need to work on being a better rebounding team and defense (help side defense)."
Johnson pointed out that he has team goals.
"Our team goals is to get better after every game and our expectations will be to win the 3A East Region and playing our best basketball going into the state tournament," Johnson said. "We will need to do all the little things very well on offense and defense. Also play hard, play smart and play together at all times."
Holbrook's regular season opener will be at home, hosting the Chinle Wildcats on November 25.