Balanced scoring attack keys Chinle girls to 70-62 win over Tuba City

By Quentin Jodie
Navajo Times

CHINLE, Jan. 24, 2014

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(Times photos – Donovan Quintero)

TOP: Tuba City Lady Warrior Shauntea Chee (12) gets by Kristen Begay of Chinle and attempts layup at the Wildcat Den in Chinle on Friday. The Lady Wildcats defeated Tuba City, 70-62.

BOTTOM: Chinle’s Hasbah Dejolie (25) dribbles around Tuba City Lady Warrior Raine Daw (15) on Friday night in Chinle.



Tate Tsinigine filled up the stats sheet for Tuba City, racking up 34 points, grabbing nine boards and forcing numerous turnovers to lead the Lady Warriors.

But that monster effort was not enough to counter the balanced scoring attack by Chinle. Three players reached double figures for the Lady Wildcats as they posted a 70-62 win in sectional play at the Wildcat Den on Friday.

"If you want to win a game you have to have balance scoring down the line," Chinle coach Pete Butler said while adding that Tsinigine is so hard to defend.

"She's a phenomenal player," he said. "She's a good offensive player and she's a smart player but on our end we had more balance scoring. That is my philosophy."

Senior guard Lynniah Curley led the way with 18 points while Arianna Yazzie added 16 and Kristen Yazzie pumped in 14. The Wildcats also had five other players that scored with senior guard Brittany Yazzie helping out with nine.

"The biggest thing you have to have is your bench contribute big time," Butler said. "If they contribute, things will fall into place…Naomi Yazzie and Shastikka Iyua came off the bench and gave us some good contributions."

Tuba City on the other hand had four players that scored. After Tsinigine, Samytha Parrish came in next with 10 while Shauntea Chee and Keisha Classay both had nine.

"I need more production from more people," Tuba City coach Kimberly Williams lamented. "They need to understand that we can't rely just on Tate. We need more people to get active with shooting."

Williams said that her team is at their best when the scoring is distributed evenly among her entire team.

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"I can't just have two or three girls score," she said. "I need them to contribute offensively and defensively. The job is going to be easier for everybody if we can do that."

Behind seven straight points from Tsinigine, the Warriors briefly took a 17-16 lead with 5:53 left before the half as the junior forward knocked down her first of three treys.

Later in the quarter the game was tied at 21-all before Chinle ended the first half on a 10-0 run with Curley and Brittany Yazzie scoring those points. That run happened within the last two minutes of the half with Yazzie hitting back-to-back treys.

"Those two threes stretched it out for us," Butler said.

In those waning moments, Williams took out Tsinigine, not knowing that the Wildcats would go on that run.

"I told them where (Chinle) was going to go," she said. "I told them they were going to shoot but they missed those assignments."

After the break, the Wildcats toyed around with the lead as they opened up a 51-33 edge on a basket by Curley with just under three minutes left in the third. But Tuba City responded with a 14-6 rally behind Tsinigine as she scored 12 points. That capped a 16-point third-quarter effort turned in by the junior forward.




Despite the momentum shift Chinle managed to hold the Warriors thanks in part to some timely shots by Curley as shed scored four points, including a trey that earned the home team a 65-56 cushion.

"We had a sizable lead but we're not too strong in the fourth quarter," Butler said. "We started to crumble and we got really nervous but we were able to hang on. Lynniah hit a couple of big shots towards at the end to give us a comfortable lead."

With the win, Chinle moves to 4-1 in the league standings behind unbeaten Page while Tuba City drops to fifth place with a 3-2 record. With identical 3-1 records, Window Rock and Many Farms are in a two-way tie for third place.

"Tuba City is a good team and they're going to bounce back," Butler said. "There is no doubt they'll make the state tournament and there is not doubt they are team to be reckon with."

With the sectional tournament taking only four teams, the Chinle coach said the race is far from over as most teams in the league still have at least four to five games on their schedule.

"It's going to get shuffled around," he said. "We're taking it one game at a time. We got another huge one (on Saturday against Holbrook) and we need to come out and rebound off this win. I tell my girls don't be satisfied with a win. You always want to get better.

"No matter what happens, making the sectional tournament is going to be tough," Butler added. "If these five teams can stay together in the middle, there is no doubt that we can get five teams in, maybe six or seven to state."

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