1A basketball tournament wraps up season for local teams
The 1A state basketball tournament saw five San Juan County teams compete last week in Richfield. Four teams went 1-2 at the tournament, while one team went 0-2.
On Wednesday, the first day of the tournament, the Whitehorse Raiders boys basketball team were the lone winners in the first round.
The Raiders earned a 54-46 victory over Tintic High School. Trailing by five points near the end of the third quarter, the Raiders forced a jump ball with three seconds left near half-court.
Senior guard Brett James received the inbound pass, strolled to half-court, and drilled the buzzer-beating half-court shot to pull the Raiders to within two points to end the quarter.
Speaking of the shot, James said the team had practiced it the day before while playing the shooting game Knockout from half-court.
“We weren't playing good in the first half,” said James. “But we figured it out in the second half.”
The fourth quarter was close until the final minutes. Down one point, senior guard Keeyah Begay stepped in front of a Tintic Miner and drew a charge at a key point in the game.
Begay said “It was quick thinking, I usually set screens so it's normal to me.”
The Raiders were led in scoring by James, who finished with 15 points. Tyrell Benally and D’Wayne Nakai each scored 13 for the Raiders, while Weston Manygoats added five, Keeyah Begay had four and Lyric Phillips and Nicolas Howell each scored two.
Also playing on Wednesday were the Monticello Buckaroo boys team, the Whitehorse girls team, and the Monument Valley boys and girls teams.
The Monticello boys dropped their game to Valley, 34-27.
The Buckaroos were led in scoring by Landon Ewart, who finished with 12 points. Devin Hatch scored six, Boston Freestone five, while Easton Young and Curtis Bunker each had two.
The Monument Valley boys lost their game to Tabiona, 59-44.
The Cougars were led in scoring by Doreon Chee, who had 16 points. Seth Sheppard and Kendall Phillips each scored eight points, while Theo Tohsonie and Levander Hicks scored six points.
In the girls bracket, Monument Valley was defeated by Milford, 43-40.
The Cougars were led by Raemi Nez, who scored 13 points. Alyah Blackwater scored eight points and Sonomie Bigman scored seven. Chianne Bedonie and Neveah Wilson each scored four points, while Cierra Black and Cassandra Deswood each scored three points.
The Whitehorse girls were defeated by Water Canyon, 36-17.
Kailee Tohonnie led the way by scoring seven points, while Heidi Thomas added four points. McKeeda Sam and Shelby Vasku scored two points while Shania Mitchell and Lamyia Benally scored one point each.
On Thursday, the girls teams and the Monticello boys team all bounced back for wins.
The Lady Raiders defeated Manila, 52-24. Junior forward Shania Mitchell said the Lady Raiders, who were anxious to get back on the court after losing their previous game.
“The next game it's how you respond bounce back,” said Mitchell. “We showed our fans that yesterday was an off game for us and we really brought it today.”
The Lady Raiders were led in scoring by Tohonnie who had 19 points. Thomas scored ten, Mitchell added eight, Shunbaah Begay scored five, Vasku four, and Sam added two.
The Monument Valley Cougars girls team also earned a victory over Intermountain Christian School, 46-40.
Senior guard Lakenya Begaye led scoring with 13 points on the game. She said the difference was playing with joy.
“We were just happy, our defense was good, not too many fouls,: said Begaye. “Everybody was happy.”
Down the stretch, junior guard Alyah Blackwater went three-for-four at the free-throw line to close out the game.
Blackwater, who scored nine points, said it was a great team win.
“The one thing I love about these girls is that they won’t put their heads down,” said Blackwater. “They always have a way of bringing each other up, which is the main thing I love about this team.”
Chalyishia Tsosie and Raemi Nez each scored six points on the game, while Precious Bedonie and Cierra Black each scored four. Shimequa Hudson scored three and Neveah Wilson added two points.
In the boys consolation bracket, the Monticello Buckaroos defeated Wendover 45-42.
The Buckaroos were led by Easton Young, who scored 16 points on the game, while Boston Freestone scored 12 points, including game-sealing free-throws down the stretch.
“I am so excited for the chance to play tomorrow,” said Freestone. “The loss yesterday was a rough blow and I didn’t want it to be my last game, so I wasn’t going to let anything stop that.”
Landon Ewart scored six points for Monticello, while Donavan Atwood and JD McDonald each scored four points, with Devin Hatch adding two points.
On Thursday, the Monument Valley boys were defeated by Wayne, 58-34.
Doreon Chee and Seth Sheppard each scored 13 points for the Raiders, while Kendall Phillips and Bernard Goodshield each scored four points.
In the boys championship bracket, the Whitehorse Raiders were defeated by Bryce Valley in the quarterfinals, 65-49.
The Raiders were led in scoring by Lyric Phillips, who scored 17 points off the bench for the Raiders. D’Wayne Nakai scored ten points, while Brett James added nine.
Keeyah Begay scored seven points, while Tyrell Benally added four points and Weston Manygoats scored two.
On Friday, the remaining teams in the tournament were eliminated.
The Monticello boys were defeated by Rich, 34-31.
The Bucks were led in scoring by Landon Ewart, who finished with nine points. Boston Freestone scored seven, Easton Young added six, Devin Hatch scored four, Donavan Atwood three, and Tommy Sheeran scored two.
The Monument Valley girls were defeated by Wendover, 59-57.
The Cougars were led by Alyah Blackwater, who scored 13 points. Precious Bedonie and Neveah Wilson each added 12 points. Raemi Nez scored six, while Lakenya Begay scored four, and Cierra Black and Chalyshia Tsosie each added two points.
The Whitehorse Raiders girls team was defeated by Valley High School, 46-34.
The girls were led in scoring by Heidi Thomas, who finished with 12 points. Shania Mitchell scored six, Kailee Tohonnie scored five, while Shelby Vasku added four, McKeeda Sam three and Kadence Lansing scored two.
The Whitehorse boys team was also defeated by Valley, 62-33.
The boys were led by Brett James who scored 12 on the game. Keeyah Begay scored seven, Lyric Phillips six, D’Wayne Nakai added five, and Tyrell Benally scored three.