Oree Foster
Staff Writer, AZPreps365.com

Boy's hoops: Stingy defense, strong second quarter propels Chinle to 70-62 win

December 16, 2018 by Oree Foster, AZPreps365

Chinle head coach Raul Mendoza preaches defense everytime the Wildcats hit the floor, whether its during practice or during games.

Mendoza credits his defense for winning its freedom game over 3A defending State Champion Winslow Bulldogs, 70-62, in the Wildcat Den in Chinle this past Friday.

"The guys worked hard throughout the game," Mendoza said. "Our defensive effort in the first half allowed us to win the game. Our defense slowed down Winslow. Winslow likes to play uptempo. Our defense contained Winslow."

Winslow head coach Scott Corum was not happy with the Bulldogs' first half performance.

"We played too much one-on-one stuff in the first half," Corum said. "In the second half, we did a much better job getting in a team flow on the offensive side. Because we were short-handed, without sophomore post Dustin Richard, due to an illness, we didn't have much depth and we ran out of gas late in the fourth quarter."

Chinle and Winslow exchanged baskets in the first quarter, with neither team leading by more than four points.

With 2:51 remaining in the first quarter, sophomore Payton Wagner hit one of two charity tosses for an 11-7 Chinle lead.

Winslow was back within two points, 11-9, when sophomore Tyrell Young nailed a basket with 2:42 left in the first quarter.

Chinle senior post Angelo Lewis hit a pair of free throws and basket inside the paint to give the Wildcats a 15-11 lead. Zachary Wagner netted a pair of free throws and Young scored from the perimter to tie the game at 15-15 with three seconds remaining in the opening stanza.

Chinle opened the second quarter with six unanswered points, four points from junior Cooper Burbank anf a basket by Lewis, lifted the Wildcats to a 21-15 advantage with 6:06 left.

The Wildcats outscored the Bulldogs, 13-5, during the next four minutes. Chinle took a 34-22 advantage. With 9.9 seconds remaining in the second quarter, sophomore Cael Denetdeel nailed s free throw for a 37-24 Chinle lead as the first half ended.

Winslow senior Darius James canned a pair of chairty tosses to bring the Bulldogs within 11 points, 41-30 with 6:03 remaining in the third quarter.

Chinle's Burbank netted a free throw and a basket, giving the Wildcats a 45-30 advantage. The Bulldogs went on a 6-0 run, culminated by senior Deangelo Lewis' bucket, thus cutting Chinle's lead to six points, 45-39 with 48 seconds left.

Chinle's Curtis Begay canned a pair of free throws and added a basket, giving the Wildcats a 49-41 advantage as the third period ended.

A basket by Bulldog senior Michael Tafoya, cut Chinle's lead to three points, 51-48, with 6:54 remaining in the fourth quarter. Chinle's Wagner hit one free throw and teammate Burbank added a pair of charity tosses for a 57-50 Wildcat lead.

With 3:10 left in the final quarter, Winslow's Elias Stewart knocked down a three-pointer, bringing the Bulldogs within four points, 59-55. Cooper netted a pair of free throws and Wagner completed a three-point play for a nine point lead, 64-55, with 2:28 left.

Winslow went on a five-point run, cutting Chinle's lead to four points, 64-60, with 1:35 time remaining in the game.

Chinle's Wagner scored the Wildcats' final six points, while Stewart netted Winslow final basket of the game.

Chinle had four players score in double digits. Chinle's Cooper Burbank tallied a game high 20 points, followed by Payton Wagner with 16 points, Angelo Lewis canned 14 points and Curtis Begay knocked down 12 points.

Chinle, 10-1, travels to Ganado to face the Hornets in a 3A North Region game this Wednesday at 7:30 p.m.

Zachary Wagner led Winslow with 18 points. Elias Stewart added 11 points, followed by Darius James with 13 points and Deangelo Lewis with 10 points for Winslow.

Winslow hosts the Ganado Hornets this Monday in Don Petranovich Gymnasium at Winslow at 7:30 p.m. in a freedom game.