Raider boys, Cougar girls claim first Battle of Drum games in two years
For the first time since February 2020, the Whitehorse and Monument Valley basketball teams faced off in a basketball doubleheader in Monument Valley on Wednesday, January 12.
With COVID-19 impacting attendance, the game was broadcast on Redrock 92 Radio and PictureItPalmer.com.
The first Battle of the Drum in nearly two years saw a split decision with the Whitehorse Raiders boys team getting a win in the early game and the Monument Valley Cougars girls team winning in the second.
In the boys game the Raiders jumped out to an early 13-5 lead after one quarter, but the Cougars came back to win the second quarter by four points making the score 22-18 at halftime.
In the third quarter, the Raiders pulled away scoring 21 points while allowing just seven for the Cougars for a 43-25 lead going into the final quarter.
“We kind of woke up and realized we need to play,” said Head Coach Evan Grant of the third quarter. Grant says they focused on causing turnovers which led to some easy buckets.
The Raiders closed out the game for a 65-41 win in the Monument Valley gym. Coach Grant called it a good win for the team.
“Any win in the region is a good win. We just got to take them one game at a time. Our goal is to win region this year so every win is a big win.”
The Raiders were led in scoring on the game by Tyrell Benally and D’Wayne Nakai. Benally and Nakai each had 13 points, including three triples for Benally.
Senior guard Brett James also added nine points on the game with three made triples. While Keeyah Begay added 8 points.
The Cougars finished the game with 41 points and were led by Seth Sheppard who ended the game with 16 points, Doreon Chee added 12 for the Cougars and Theo Tohsonie had five.
In the girls game, the Cougars and Raiders went back and forth changing leads but the Raiders took a one-point lead into halftime 30-29.
The Cougars started to pull away in the second half with the score 45-38 after the third and closed the game out at the free-throw line for a final score of 61-49 in favor of the Cougars.
The Cougars were led in scoring by Lakenya Begaye who had 18 points on the night including two clutch threes in the second half.
Alyah Blackwater and Precious Bedonie each had 14 points for the Cougars, while Dayhenoah Yazzie had ten points.
The Raiders were led by an impressive 26 points from Kailee Tohonnie, while Heidi Thomas finished with 12 points and Shania Mitchell had eight.