Tuesday, July 23, 2024

MV boys come up short to Snowflake in tournament finale

WINDOW ROCK

Other than the title game, Monument Valley coach Randolph Gilmore said his club played at an optimal level.

Special to the Times | Steven Law
Monument Valley Mustang Jaden Redhouse (2) goes up for a two-point shot against the Page Sand Devils in this file photo. The Mustangs took second to Snowflake in the Diamond Division of the Epic Tourneys New Year’s Classic last week.

The Mustangs took second to Snowflake in the Diamond Division of the Epic Tourneys New Year’s Classic last week.

MV defeated Bourgade (69-63), Ben Franklin (78-70) and San Tan Charter (72-64) to reach the title game.

But in the finals, the Gilmore-coach team had a few miscues as they dropped a 73-62 decision to the Lobos.

“Our own mistakes hurt us,” Gilmore said of the championship game. “The things that we usually do, we didn’t do in that game.”

And although Snowflake won by an 11-point margin, Gilmore said his team trailed by three points late in the game.

“We had to foul them at the end, and they made their free throws,” he said of the Lobos. “It was back and forth, but the made free throws made it look like they won by a lot.”

Gilmore said they didn’t defend particularly well against the much taller Snowflake team.

“It was a matter of us stopping them,” he said. “At times I feel like we didn’t try hard enough. That’s one of our problems and we’re trying to change that. We need to continue to get better on the defensive side.”

On the offensive end, Gilmore said seniors Albrandon Byjoe and Roberto Flores led the team in scoring.

“They’re my captains,” he said while adding that twosome makes the team go.

With the regular season tournaments completed, the Mustangs are looking to improve on its 13-2 record, which includes a 3-0 mark in 3A North Region play.

“I think it’s pretty much equal,” Gilmore said of the conference race. “I know Chinle is gonna be there. Tuba has a good chance and Page is really good. We’re not trying to overlook anybody. We just have to stay humble.”

Chinle is also undefeated in 3A North play as the Wildcats sport a 2-0 record followed by Page (2-1), Alchesay (2-1), Ganado (0-2), Tuba City (0-2) and Window Rock (0-3).

Gilmore believes that every team in the conference considers his club as its biggest adversary.

“They think of MV as their rivalry game, so every team is gonna do their best to beat us,” he said. “Regardless of records, we have to play hard because they’re always gonna bring their best.

“I don’t know how it’s gonna end, but we should be in the running for the region crown,” he added.

Last season, the Mustangs won the region tournament and in the league race they finished second to Chinle.

“We were actually tied with Chinle record-wise, but they went by power rankings in the standings,” he said.

Going forward, the MV coach said they’re looking for a top finish in the 3A state rankings.

“We’re trying to be one of the top seeds, so that we can get home court advantage for state,” he said. “The boys understand that we’re playing to be in the best position for state and that includes being the No. 1 seed in our region too.

“That is what we’re fighting for,” he added.

The Mustangs will be at Chinle on Saturday for a key 3A North showdown.


About The Author

Quentin Jodie

Quentin Jodie is the Sports Editor for the Navajo Times. He started working for the Navajo Times in February 2010 and was promoted to the Sports Editor position at the end of summer in 2012. Previously, he wrote for the Gallup Independent. Reach him at qjodie@navajotimes.com

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