Monument Valley, Whitehorse teams get solid performances at Shiprock basketball tourney

by David Boyle
News Director
All four Monument Valley and Whitehorse high school varsity basketball teams headed to Shiprock, NM this past weekend for the annual Jerry Richardson Memorial Chieftain Invitational.
The Monument Valley girls extended a strong start to their season at the tournament, picking up two more wins to run their record to 3-1 to open the year.
The Cougars began the Chieftain Invite Thursday, December 1 with an impressive victory over the Montezuma-Cortez Panthers 64-32.
Monument Valley established a dominant 26-2 lead in the first quarter and though the Panthers closed the gap slightly in the second the Cougars still led 40-19 at halftime.
They increased their lead to 56-23 in the third frame, then held off a late rally from Montezuma-Cortez to close out a 64-32 win.
The Cougars were led again by Nez who scored 16 points. Blackwater had 15 points, Hudson added 12, Chianne Bedonie scored nine, and Precious Bedonie scored four for the Cougars.
Junior Keilana Smith and senior Mariah Begaye both hit one three-pointer apiece and senior Amber Slim added two points to round out the Monument Valley scoring.
The Cougars beat another larger school handily in game two of the tourney December 2, defeating the Shiprock Chieftains 50-30.
The Cougars suffered their first loss of the season in game three of the weekend to undefeated Navajo Prep 50-27 on Saturday, December 3.
The Eagles held a 21-20 lead at halftime before exploding to outscore Monument Valley 29-7 in the second half.
The Cougars head to Kanab to take on the Cowboys this Friday, December 9 before hosting San Juan on December 13 in their first home game of the season.
Monument Valley
The Monument Valley boys basketball team went 1-1 at the Chieftain Invitational, opening the tournament with a 78-41 loss to tourney host Shiprock.
The Cougars bounced back for their first win of the season on December 2 42-39 over the Pine Hill Warriors.
Whitehorse Girls
The Whitehorse girls basketball team earned valuable tournament experience at the Chieftain Invite. The Raiders opened the tournament on Thursday, December 1 with a tough 51-20 loss to the undefeated Navajo Prep Eagles.
The Raiders battled hard and provided a challenge to the Bloomfield Bobcats in game two Friday. The game was tied 9-9 after one quarter with Bloomfield building a slight 22-16 advantage by halftime.
The Raiders closed the gap in the third quarter to pull to within two at 30-28. But the Bobcats won the final quarter and the game by a score of 42-31.
The Whitehorse girls lost another close one in the third game of their tournament Saturday, December 3 to the Montezuma-Cortez Panthers 41-36.
Following their trip to Shiprock the Raiders are 0-5 on the season. They hosted the San Juan Broncos this Tuesday, December 6 after the print deadline.
Whitehorse Boys
The Whitehorse boys basketball team opened their season with two wins and one loss at the Chieftain Invitational this past weekend.
Junior Lyric Phillips scored an impressive 30 points in the Raiders’ first game at the tournament, leading his team to a 56-33 win over the Pine Hill Warriors on Thursday, December 1.
Phillips hit six three-point baskets in 12 attempts in the win. Senior D’Wayne Nakai scored 11 points for the Raiders while senior Kai Yazzie added seven.
Junior Larenz Tsosie made a three-pointer while freshman Elam Etsitty scored two points and sophomore Dominic Dance scored one for the Raiders.
In addition to leading the Raiders in points Phillips and Nakai each had three assists. Dance had two and Yazzie added one.
Senior Jose Gutierrez and freshmen Tristan Black and Brayden John each had one assist. Dance and Nakai pulled down five rebounds each, while Yazzie had four and Phillips recorded three.
Nakai also recorded six steals and Phillips had three. Dance, Etsitty, and Yazzie all recorded a steal apiece. Nakai and Black also recorded one block each in the game.
The Raiders earned their second victory of the season on Friday, December 2 against the Shiprock Chieftains in a close 48-47 final.
After one half the game was tied at 19 points each. The Raiders fell behind by three in the third quarter, but rallied to outscore the Chieftains 20-16 in the fourth to secure the one-point victory.
The Raiders were again led by Phillips who scored 21 points in the game. Nakai added 17 points, Yazzie poured in six, and Dance and Etsitty scored two points apiece.
Nakai recorded eight rebounds for Whitehorse while Phillips and Yazzie pulled down six and Dance recorded three. Etsitty and sophomore Kaleb Joe added two boards apiece while Black and Tsosie got one each.
Phillips recorded four assists and Nakai had two. Nakai also collected five steals while Etsitty had three, Dance got two, and Phillips had one in the win. Nakai also recorded three blocks on the game while Tsosie recorded one.
The Raiders lost the final game of the Chieftain Invite to the Bloomfield Bobcats by a score of 83-58 on Saturday, December 3.
The Whitehorse boys are set for a trip to Richfield this weekend to play in the 1A Central Utah Boys Basketball Preview.
The Raiders play Valley at 2:30 p.m. on Friday, December 9 and Panguitch at 4:30 p.m. on Saturday, December 10. Both games will be broadcast live on Redrock 92 with streaming video at
The Raiders will return to Montezuma Creek for their first home game of the year next Tuesday, December 13 against Navajo Pine.

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