A strong defense and a potent offense were the keys for Window Rock as the Lady Scouts rolled to a 76-20 victory over the Northwest Christian Lady Crusaders of Phoenix in the first round of the Arizona Class 3A Basketball State Tournament before a sparse crowd at the Fighting Scouts Events Center in Fort Defiance on Tuesday night.
“It was a good win,” said Window Rock head coach Bill McLaughlin. “The girls came to play tonight. I saw film on Northwest Christian. After watching film, we knew what we needed to do. We knew they couldn’t handle pressure. We applied pressure defense and we got turnovers. Offensively, we shot well. Asia James and Domonique Chee shot extremely well.”
Window Rock, 17-12, advances into the Sweet 16. The Lady Scouts face the Safford Lady Bulldogs this Friday at 6:30 p.m. Round Valley High School Dome in Eager/Springerville.
Earlier this season, Window Rock dropped a 75-69 decision to Safford, in a game played at the Fighting Scouts Events Center.
“Two Safford players hurt us in our game against them earlier this season,” McLaughlin said. “We have to shut them down. They are the key players for Safford. We have the next few days to work on their offense and defense.”
It has been nine years since Northwest Christian earned a state tournament berth.
“We basically have a junior varsity team,” said Northwest Christian head coach Bill Harbeck. “We have a young team and it showed tonight. I am building the team. In the next few years we should be a varsity team. I saw film and looked at scores of Window Rock. I knew they would be a strong team. They played us hard on both ends of the floor. I’m proud of my players on how far we advanced this year in our region and state tournament. It was a good year.”