If one looks closely they’ll see something different about the Shiprock High School Lady Chieftains.
Shiprock has carried many of their team traits from one season to the next, but their head coach Larenson Henderson said they’ve got a different look to them, a look that popped up late in the season.
“We’re doing great. We’re moving at a pace where I’m pretty impressed with the girls,” Henderson said. “Their abilities are surprising me and I’m very impressed with the way we’re moving.”
They’ve got a faster and more athletic look to them, a look that helped them sneak past all teams in 4A District 1 at least once. Wingate was their latest victim, who they defeated 68-33 on Tuesday for their undefeated regular season district record of 5-0.
Shiprock got off to a slow start in the first quarter after a lengthy Parent Night celebration before tipoff. They let Wingate hang with them for most of the quarter before taking a small lead, 18-11, at the end of the quarter.
“Right off the back, we missed a lot of shots. Once we got on track, I think everything was all right,” Henderson said. “I just told the girls to calm down, take a couple of deep breaths, and get back into basketball mode.”
They further executed in the second quarter. It wasn’t in the cleanest fashion, but it was enough to get them to nearly double to score on Wingate.
Shiprock led the Lady Bears 44-25 at the half.
Wingate head coach Manuel Smith said his team lost to Shiprock early on in the district season by double digits, so they showed up in Shiprock a little shook up.
He said it showed in the entire first half and the Lady Chiefs took advantage of it.
“I think we get intimidated, it’s always like that when we play Shiprock, we get scared,” he said. “At halftime we had 23 turnovers, 80 percent of that turned into their points, that’s what we talked about at halftime.”