Page wins back-to-back state crowns
In its title defense, the Page girls’ basketball team kept things simple.
The Lady Sand Devils once again used its tenacious defense to pull out a 46-33 win over Holbrook in the Arizona 3A girls’ state championship game, which was held at the Gila River Arena in Glendale on Saturday.
“This means so much for the girls, especially in our school and our community,” Page coach Ryan Whitehorse said. “This kind of defines what our program was build off, which is playing defense.”
To their credit, Holbrook did match Page’s intensity for a good duration of Saturday’s contest. In fact, Lady Roadrunners trailed 26-20 after three quarters of play.
That margin was cut in half at the start of the fourth quarter (26-23) on a putback by sophomore post Mateha Aberle, who lead the Roadrunners with 14 points. But with six minutes left the Sand Devils kicked it up a notch on the defensive end as they created more havoc for Holbrook.
That effort spurred a 9-2 run by Page as the Sand Devils seized a 35-25 cushion when senior Mikala Benally connected on 1-of-2 free throws with 3:50 left in the contest.
“We work really hard at playing defense,” Benally said. “I’m just happy that we got it done on the defensive end. We executed and we came out with the win.”
Benally led the Sand Devils with 11 but she got plenty of help. Senior Amy Yellowman chipped in nine while junior forward Camryn Nockideneh and freshman Miquedah Taliman added eight points apiece.
“Before we played this game we talked about winning this game and we had to show that we really wanted it,” said Yellowman, who added that the Roadrunners gave them a run for their money.
“Holbrook is a real good defensive team,,” she said. “It was a low-scoring game for three quarters and I think whoever wanted the most showed it in the fourth quarter.”