Oree Foster
Staff Writer, AZPreps365.com

Hard work, team work is key to Chinle's success

November 20, 2018 by Oree Foster, AZPreps365

Second-year Chinle girl's basketball head coach Francine McCurtain expects the Lady Wildcats to play hard for 32 minutes.

"Our team expectations are to play with intensity, character, determination, discipline and tenacity," said McCurtain, one of Winslow High School's greatest prep basketball players. "We think it is important to make sure we come ready for every game and use what we know to collaborate as a team."

McCurtain, former Washington State University and Northern Arizona University women's college basketball standout, guided Chinle to 10-8 overall record and a berth in the 3A state tournament last year, after leading the Lady Wildcats to a third place finish in the tough 3A North Region.

"Our team goal is to take it one game at a time and not to over look any of the north teams," McCurtain stated. "We are to play each and every minute of the game to the end. Our communication as a team is the key to our defensive and offensive strategies. Overall, we expect to play at a composed level of Lady Wildcats basketball."

McCurtain said for Chinle to earn a berth in the post season, the Lady Wildcats will definitely take hard work and team work.

"I always emphasize team work and how important it is to know each other on the court to be an effective team," McCurtain explained. "We will have to bring out our "A" game each night we play. Games will be tough, but it's our goal to come out on top. If we don't, then to return the favor next time around."

Six players return for Chinle this year. They are senior 3A North All-Region forward Stacey Begay, junior guard Brandi Clah, senior point guard Grayce Claw, senior guard Kristen Tso, junior center Tea Murray and senior forward/guard Deshawna Yazzie.

First-year varsity players include freshman forward Aisha Ashley, junior guard Meishyla Begay, junior guard Tivona Begay, senior guard Keanna Dedman, junior guard Cheneil Jones and senior guard Debaa Nacona.

Chinle has five freedom games on its schedule. Freedom games are Holbrook (twice), Pinon, Show Low and Winslow.

The Lady Wildcats will play each 3A North Region teams twice, including Window Rock, Ganado, Monument Valley, Tuba City and Page.

Chinle will participate in two tournaments this year. The tournaments are Choice Wireless Tournament in Chinle and Chandler Prep Tournament.

"All teams are always tough in the region," McCurtain said. "It's about who is going to put forth their efforts every night. It's anyone's game."