Oree Foster
Staff Writer, AZPreps365.com

3A North Region hoops: Chinle girls, boys chalk up region victories

January 14, 2019 by Oree Foster, AZPreps365

The Window Rock Fighting Scouts and Chinle Wildcats rivalry dates back to the late 1950's.

Window Rock hosted games in the 'Old Barn' in Fort Defiance, the Civic Center (now called Sports Center) in Window Rock, the Field House in Fort Defiance.

Window Rock now plays its home games in the 6,500-seat Events Center. The Events Center might be new and spacious, but the rivalry between Window Rock and Chinle remains the same, highly intense, with new players.


Chinle 79, Window Rock 73

Window Rock and Chinle played hard, solid basketball for 32 minutes, as the game was settled, with the No. 1 ranked Wildcats chalked up a six-point win. 79-73, in 3A North Region action.

Chinle head coach Raul Mendoza said it was a tough win.

"Both teams played hard," said Mendoza, who was Window Rock's head coach during two different stints. "I knew Window Rock would be up for the game. At midway through the third quarter, the game see-sawed. It was back and forth. Toward the end of the third quarter, we took a short lead. We started off well in the fourth quarter. We led by by as much as six points to the end of the game. We found a way to win."

Chinle improved to 5-0 in 3A North Region play and 19-4 overall. This was Chinle's third victory over Window Rock this year. The Wildcats beat the Fighting Scouts twice during the Choice Wireless Classic and the win in the Events Center. Window Rock travels to Chinle on January 25 for a region game and its fourth meeting this season.

Window Rock dropped to 2-1 in region action and the Fighting Scouts are 8-9 overall.

Window Rock's Burk Williams canned a basket and knocked down a three-pointer with 4:40 remaining in the first quarter, giving the Fighting Scouts na 9-4 lead.

Chinle battled back as Cooper Burbank stole the ball, scoring on a layup and was fouled. Burbank completed the three-point play, lifting the Wildcats to a 16-12 lead.

With less than 30 seconds remaining in the first quarter, Window Rock's Adrian Destea hit a three-point basket for a 17-16 lead. As the clock was winding down to end the first period, Chinle freshman Kylen Yazzie hit a basket to give the Wildcats an 18-17 lead.

Window Rock took its largest lead in the second quarter, when Cauy Silversmith scored back-to-bak baskets. A basket by Payton Wagner brought Chinle back within two points, 31-29.

With one minute remaining in the first half, Silversmith scored a basket and Marian Ynzunza followed with a bucket, as Window Rock held a 40-34 lead. Trevor Herbert's basket gave Window Rock a five point lead. As the second quarter was ended, Chinle's Burbank netted a basket, bringing the Wildcats within two points, 42-40.

Neither team could lead for more than three points thoughout the third quarter. With 33 seconds remaining in the third period, Wagner hit the front end of a two shot free throw, lifting the Wildcats to a 61-58 lead. Silversmith knocked down a basket, bringing Window Rock within one point, 61-60, as the clock expired.

Chinle outscored Window Rock, 8-2, early in the fourth quarter to take a 68-63 lead. Window Rock were back within two points, before Chinle scored on a pair of free throws and a basket for a 75-69 lead.

During the final two minutes, both teams scored four points apiece.

Chinle's Cooper Burbank tallied 27 points, followed by Angelo Lewis with 16 points, Payton Wagner with 13 points and Curtis Begay with 11 points.

Cauy Silversmith netted 21 points for Window Rock. Adrian Destea added 16 points, followed by Trevor Herbert with 14 points and Burk Williams with 12 points for the Fighting Scouts.


Chinle 58, Window Rock 44

Window Rock and Chinle traded baskets through the initial five minutes. Chinle's Stacey Begay connected with a pair of charity tosses, giving the Lady Wildcats a 10-8 lead. That was Chinle's final points of the first quarter.

Window Rock scored seven unanswered points, including baskets by Bayle Talkalai, Aliyah Freeman, Jana Solee and a free throw from Shinezbi Teller for a 15-10 lead.

Chinle played a solid second quarter. The hot shooting Lady Wildcats scored 23 points. Chinle's defense was strong throughout the second period. The Lady Scouts could manage six points. Chinle took a 33-21 lead into the dressing room for halftime.

The tempo of the game slowed down in the third quarter. Back-to-back baskets by Kristen Tso and Graycee Claw gave the Lady Wildcats a 41-26 lead. Chinle extended its lead to 43-28 when the third quarter ended.

Chinle led by as many as 16 points for majority of the fourth quarter.

Chinle head coach Francine McCurtain said the Lady Wildcats stepped up on both ends of the floor in the second quarter.

"The girls communicated well together," McCurtain said. "The girls played good defense. Our defense contained them. We moved the ball around well and our shot selection was good. The girls are working together well. We have to work hard to produce wins. The region is tough."

Chinle, 3-2 in region and 12-5 overall, travel to Page, 2-0 region and 13-4 overall, for a 3A North Region contest this Tuesday at 6 p.m.

Window Rock, 1-1 in region and 10-8 overall, host the Kayenta Monument Valley Lady Mustangs, 0-4 region and 6-12 overall, this Friday at 6 p.m.