Monument Valley defeats Whitehorse in the Battle of Drum

The Whitehorse High School basketball teams have been busy over the course of the past few days, and the girls continue to streak towards one of their best regular season finishes ever.

The teams hosted the Pinnacle Panthers in a 1A Region 19 tilt on Friday, January 24 with the boys getting the action started.

The game was intense, with both the Raiders and Panthers racking up over 20 fouls each by end of the game. Whitehorse won the first quarter 16-13 and the second 41-35.

In the second half, Pinnacle struggled to make free throws and Whitehorse took advantage of that opportunity. However, the Raiders could only manage a 12-point lead at the end of the third quarter, 57-45.

In the fourth quarter, the tension started to shift when Pinnacle was only behind by 6 points. Pinnacle couldn’t maintain their momentum though, and Whitehorse held on for a 74-61 win. 

The momentum of the boys win carried over into the girls game. It was the Lady Raiders’ game from the start and they quickly took command. They led the Lady Panthers 17-5 at the end of the first quarter.

Pinnacle chipped away at the deficit in the second quarter, but Whitehorse still held a 28-17 advantage at the half.

The Lady Raiders dominated the third quarter, scoring an impressive 30 points to Pinnacle’s three. Whitehorse led 58-20 after three and went on to close out the Lady Panthers 73-35.

On Tuesday, January 28, the Whitehorse teams hosted Green River in a home match in Montezuma Creek. On the boys side, the Pirates came into the game leading the Region 19 standings with Whitehorse filling the number two slot.

In the first quarter, it was a back and forth battle with Green River building a 16-14 lead. T’kenya Yazzie hit a buzzer-beater at the end of the first half to help the Raiders take a 31-28 lead into the break.

In the third quarter, Green River only allowed Whitehorse four points and regained the lead 38-35. In the fourth quarter, the Raiders put together a crowd-pleasing comeback to pull off a 51-49 upset win. 

The crowd in Montezuma Creek carried the momentum from the boys win to the Lady Raiders’ game. Whitehorse led from start to finish in a runaway win, 72-55.

The game was led by Heidi Thomas, Bahazhoni Filfred, and Daan Filfred. The Lady Pirates were no match for Whitehorse’s strong defense and fast breaks.

The week concluded with the games of the year on Friday, January 31. Crowds from the home team and the rival Monument Valley overflowed the gym in Montezuma Creek for the final Battle of the Drum of the season.

Varsity action began with the boys teams in a neck-and-neck battle. The Cougars held a one-point advantage after one quarter with a score of 11-12. In the second quarter, Monument Valley continued to silence the Whitehorse crowd as they increased the lead to 24-19.

In the third quarter, the Cougars only allowed the Raiders to score six points, and they maintained the momentum through to the end to keep the drum with a 51-44 win.

With the visiting Monument Valley crowd producing an onslaught of decibels, the Whitehorse spectators looked onward with hope as the Lady Raiders began the fight to get the drum back.

But the Lady Cougars kept Whitehorse on their trail for most of the game. The Lady Raiders were only down by two points at the end of the first quarter, 16-14.

Monument Valley extended their lead to 16 by the end of the first half however, 37-21. The Lady Cougars maintained a steady lead through the end of the third quarter, 56-41.

Whitehorse showed some improvement when they worked their way back from a 20-point deficit in the fourth quarter, but they came up just short, dropping the game 66-60.

With their wins, the Cougars take the drum back to Monument Valley where it will remain through the offseason until the teams meet again in the fall.

Whitehorse High School seniors were recognized during the games. They include: Deondre Benn, Lanedon Bob, Kiiyana Clah, Daan Filfred, LewKatia Hascon, Kaia Jay, RaShawn Nocki, Tewakeedah Martin, Malakai Sam, James Vasku, and Kianna Willie.

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