Lady Mustangs sit pretty after defeating Alchesay for 3A North Region title
The Alchesay Lady Falcons had the Monument Valley Lady Mustangs figured out in the first half of the girls 3A North Region championship game.
The full-court press the Lady Falcons sustained kept them ahead by 10 points, keeping the feisty Lady Mustangs at six points by the end of the first quarter.
“That’s the first time we’ve been down by that much all year,” said Lady Mustangs head coach Jason Franklin on Saturday night at the Chinle Wildcat Den in Chinle following his team’s 56-43 comeback win.
Franklin said clawing their way back was a “shell shock.”
MV’s 3A North Player of the Year Keiryn Mann was fouled once in the first period. Those were only two points she contributed.
Franklin said they weren’t playing aggressively on the defensive end.
“Once we picked up our aggressiveness, the game turned around for us,” he said.
The Mustangs began reining in the Lady Falcons in the second quarter as its star players Carmen Mitchell, Kierra Johnson, Shyrai Shorty, and Mann put the pressure on Alchesay.
By halftime, MV cut Alchesay’s lead down to 23-20 heading into the locker room.
Alchesay Lady Falcon head coach Rick Sanchez said they went into the game with a strategy of stopping MV’s double team and the 1-2-2 press and using the clock.
“We want to take our time and not get shook up,” he said before the championship game against the Mustangs. “So, if we just play our game and not theirs, we’re in good shape.”
At the start of the third quarter, the game Alchesay wanted to play slowly waned as the high-pressure-playing they played in the first half caught up to them.
On the one hand, Alchesay’s Jazlyn Nosie, who contributed 10 points in the first half, was responsible for all of the team’s 10 points in the third quarter and just four points in the last quarter.
On the other hand, MV took the lead in the third quarter and never lost it. In the fourth period, Johnson, Mann, and Shorty went to the free-throw line and added 10 points in addition to the combined four points they made for the team.
Sanchez had no excuses at the end of the game and said the team ran out of gas.
“It’s a lot of effort to try to play full-court press the whole day,” he said. “I think we just ran out of gas.”
The two teams met twice in the regular season, each handing one another a loss before meeting again in the 3A North Region final. Both don’t play until Friday. The Lady Falcons host Wickenburg and play at 7 p.m. MV will play the winner between Blue Ridge and Valley Christian on Friday at 7 p.m. in Kayenta.
The Window Rock Lady Scouts also has a bye and will host Ganado or Winslow on Friday at 7 p.m. at the Bee Hołdzil Fighting Scouts Events Center in Fort Defiance.