Miyamura gets by Winslow in Lomasney tourney

By Sunnie Clahchischiligi
Navajo Times

GALLUP, N.M.m Dec. 6, 2013

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Even with dozens of turnovers and missed field goals, the Miyamura Patriots slid past the 2013 Arizona Division III state champs, the Winslow Bulldogs.

The 4A Patriots defeated Winslow 57-54 in the 39th annual John Lomasney Girls Basketball Tournament.

It was the Lady Patriots debut game of the season and Miyamura head coach Mike Troncoso said it showed. He said his team shot 14 for 37 at the free throw line and had too many turnovers (about 26).

"We played like it was our first game,” he said. "That’s not good, not good for a first game."

But it was a win and a victory they needed to start the season off.

Troncoso said he knew Winslow would put up a fight. He said every time Winslow closed the score gap he gave his team the motivation that ultimately got them the victory.

"The good thing that kept us in the game was I kept reminding the girls of who Winslow represents,” he said. "Last year they were the state champs and we did beat them last year in the same tournament."

Miyamura defeated the Lady Bulldogs for third place in the tournament last year.

Winslow head coach Jerron Jordan said he and his team are used to having targets on their backs and they play accordingly.

"As state champions from a year ago you’re going to get teams’ best shot night in and night out, so far we’ve got every team’s best shot a lot of times …” he said.

Miyamura was first to put numbers on the board but Winslow went on a seven points run before wrapping up the first quarter up, 13-9.

With four minutes left in the second quarter Miyamura took the lead 20-17 with a three-point basket by Omega Detsoi, but Winslow came back with a 9-point run to lead 29-14 at the half.

At the half, Winslow had a total of 20 turnovers and Miyamura had 15.

"It’s an important element of the game, if you turn the ball over you’re not going to be successful and then we got to hit our free throws in the clutch too,” he said. "Right now we’re beating ourselves, just little things, the little intangibles."

In the second half free throws and continued shots in the paint kept Winslow in the game. The Lady Bulldogs shot 16 for 17 at the free throw line.

With 28.9 seconds left in the game Miyamura fouled and gave Winslow the 54-53 lead, but took it back with a drive down the lane to lead, 55-54.

Miyamura made two of their last free throws with less than nine seconds left in the game and caused Winslow to turnover the ball on their possession.

Troncoso said throughout the game he continued to encourage his team to continue playing scrappy and because of it they got the win.

"We stepped it up and I just told them to keep the fight and the girls did,” he said. "My senior captain Presleigh Smiley did an excellent job out there, she controlled the game and that’s what we need."

Smiley led the Patriots with a team-high 23 points. Raquel Spencer added 15 of her own for Miyamura. Winslow’s Shandiin Armao led the team with 20 points, Marcella Joe contributed 12 and Kaelyn Bitsoi had 11.

Miyamura advances to the semi-finals and will play Clovis today at 6 p.m.

Jordan said his team continues to learn and move forward.

"I have a great group of student athletes, and we will get it corrected,” he said. "They’ll continue to fight. This team has a heart of champions."

Winslow will play St. Pius at 1 p.m. today.

First-day results:

  • Gallup 95 - Wingate 38
  • Clovis 73 - St. Pius 61
  • Cleveland 60 – Kirtland 54

In the consolation bracket:

  • Winslow vs. St. Pius at 1 p.m.
  • Kirtland vs. Wingate at 2:30 p.m.
  • Winners bracket: Clovis vs. Miyamura at 6 p.m.
  • Cleveland vs. Gallup at 7:30 p.m.

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