- The Arizona Class 3A state championship game was hard fought.
Winslow Lady Bulldogs and Kayenta Monument Valley Lady Mustangs
came to play hard.
utilizing three-point shooting, raced to the state championship,
outlasting Monument Valley before more than 11,000 frenzied fans
at America West Arena in Phoenix last Saturday.
held off Monument Valley, 76-69, in an up-tempo battle between the
two 3A North Region Conference rivals.
legendary coach Don Petranovich, the winningest girls high school
basketball coach in Arizona, guided the Lady Bulldogs to their first
state title since 1998 and fifth in the school's history.
girls did a super job," Petranovich said as his eyes welled
with tears. "Monument Valley has a great team. To beat a great
team is such a wonderful feeling. We had to fight to the very end
to win the state championship."
addition to this year's state championship, Winslow has won state
titles in 1979, 1989, 1990 and 1998. The Lady Bulldogs were state
runners-up in 1991, 1992, 1995, 1999, 2000 and 2001.
whose coaching record is 621-128 in 28 years, said playing up-tempo
offensively and applying pressure defensively were the key.
pushed the ball down the floor," Petranovich said. "We
shot the ball extremely well. If you leave us open, we will hurt
Lady Bulldogs did just that. Winslow connected with 11 three-pointers
for the afternoon, while Monument Valley managed four treys for
(Ben) had a great game," Petranovich said. "She played
her heart out. She hit key three-pointers. She scored a career high.
Lindsey (Begaii) played her best game of the year. She shot and
rebounded well. Stephanie (Garnett) played a great game in the second
the delight of the large crowd, Winslow and Monument Valley traded
baskets throughout the opening quarter.
sophomore wing Levyna Ben was tough in the clutch, playing with
ice in her veins.
who knocked in a career high 28 points, pumped in one of her six
three-pointers to lift the Lady Bulldogs to a 19-9 lead with 1:40
remaining the first quarter.
Valley senior post Irene Bahe answered with consecutive baskets,
slicing Winslow's lead to six points.
Arveda Yazzie canned a basket with 1.8 seconds remaining in the
first quarter, giving the Lady Bulldogs a 21-13 lead.
fired up Monument Valley quickly began the second quarter on a 6-0
run, thanks to Samantha Harrison's back-to-back baskets on steals
and Tempress Freeman's bucket inside the paint.
lead was trimmed to two points, before Ben rattled the cages with
a trey for a 24-19 lead.
time was running down prior to halftime, Winslow's Starla McCurtain
canned a trey for a 40-32 Lady Bulldog advantage.
Valley's Allison Holiday connected with a pair of free throws, slicing
Winslow's lead to six points, 40-34, as the first half ended.
and Monument Valley shot strongly to begin the third quarter.
Lady Bulldogs and Lady Mustangs traded three-pointers during the
opening minutes of the third quarter.
poured in a pair of three-pointers, while Monument Valley lit up
the scoreboard for three treys.
3:31 remaining in the third quarter, Winslow extended its lead to
10 points, 56-46, on Ben's trey.
Valley hit a scoring drought for three minutes before Latoya Black
netted a three-pointer, cutting Winslow's lead to nine points, 58-49.
the third quarter came to a close, Begaii canned a trey and scored
inside for a 63-49 Winslow advantage.
the third quarter, Monument Valley had opportunities but turnovers
proved to be costly. The Lady Mustangs turned the ball over four
times in six possessions.
led by as much as 10 points throughout the fourth quarter. Lady
Mustang Tempress Freeman scored inside, cutting the Lady Bulldogs'
lead to seven points, 67-60.
2:15 remaining in the game, Winslow's JoDawn White hit a pair of
free throws lifting the Lady Bulldogs to a 10-point lead, 72-62.
Lady Bulldogs and Lady Mustangs exchanged baskets during the remaining
minute of the game, with Winslow's Ben scoring four points and Kayenta
Monument Valley's Bahe hitting for five points.
addition to Ben's 28 points, Winslow's Begaii added 19 points and
McCurtain tallied 14 points.
topped Monument Valley with 19 points. Harrison followed with 17
points and Bahe canned 16 points.