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Newcomb plays for final shot – wins – 2A championship next

Newcomb plays for final shot – wins – 2A championship next


Confidence separates the Newcomb High boys’ basketball team from who they were last season.

It is also what helped them make history by beating Mesilla Valley Christian 50-48 in the Class 2A state semifinal game.

No. 3 seeded Newcomb will play No. 1 Pecos in the championship game tomorrow at Dreamstyle Arena, aka The Pit, at 8 a.m.

Newcomb trailed most of the game but with 1:57 left, Deondre Begay tied it at 48-48 from the free-throw line.

The Skyhawks’ defense forced a turnover and Newcomb got the ball back with 44.4 seconds left in the game.

Navajo Times | Ravonelle Yazzie

Newcomb’s Deondre Begay (22) scores the winning layup to defeat Mesilla Valley Christian School, 50-48, in the New Mexico 2A semifinal game on Friday morning.

Newcomb coach Dominique Richardson called for a final shot to end the game. The Skyhawks opened up the lane for Begay, who drove in for the layup with less than eight seconds on the clock.

Richardson said Begay did so with confidence.

Navajo Times | Ravonelle Yazzie

Newcomb Skyhawk basketball coach Dominique Richardson reacts to his team earning their very first chance to play the New Mexico Class 2A championship game on Saturday morning against the Pecos Panthers.

“What he does for the last 31 games is live in the paint, and that’s what he did today, made a great layup again to get us the victory,” he said.

Begay said it was a shot he’s worked on since he started playing high school basketball as an 8th-grader.

It was a shot that Mesilla Valley coach Douglas Coyle said was one of many that surprised him and his team.

“They made some crazy shots, and we saw them do that in some game film,” he said. “But you still think they’re not going to be able to do that against you – and they still went in.

“Newcomb plays with confidence,” he said. “They were throwing up some difficult shots, and they do it with confidence.”

It is the first time in school history that Newcomb has played in a semifinal in The Pit and now in a state championship game.

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About The Author

Sunnie R. Clahchischiligi

Sunnie Clahchischiligi has been the sports writer for the Navajo Times since 2008. She has a bachelor’s degree in print journalism from the University of New Mexico. Before joining the Times, she worked at the St. Cloud Times (Minn.), the Albuquerque Journal, the Santa Fe New Mexican, Sports Illustrated Magazine in New York City and the Salt Lake Tribune. She can be reached at or via cell at (505) 686-0769.


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