The second ranked Lady Roadrunners had their first regular season setback of the season on Saturday afternoon in Page where they came up short in a 55-44 outcome against the always tough Lady Sand Devils. Holbrook started the game well enough building a 10-5 lead after the first period. They extended that edge to as many as nine points in the second period before eventually heading to the break with a 22-18 lead. “We played good defense early, but should really have been ahead by double digits at the half. We shot just 14 percent from the field in the first half, with several missed in the paint,” said Coach Greg Perkins.
In the third, Page overtook Holbrook outscoring the Birds 24-16. Tristen Ambrose did hit three consecutive free throws to close out the period and keep Holbrook within four points heading to the fourth. Holbrook tied the game a couple of times in the fourth, and still trailed by four points with just under four minutes left in the contest. At that point, Holbrook missed a couple of three-point shots and Page took advantage of a tired Holbrook team late in the game to pull away and get the win.
“Page did what they needed to beat us. We didn’t play great defense in the second half, and those missed opportunities in the first half came back to haunt us. We ended up shooting just 28 percent for the game, which isn’t good enough to beat a team as good as Page is. Rayanna stepped up her game and played well and Madison got things going in the second half, but we need to be more consistent throughout the lineup for four periods to beat a team like Page. The good news is we will still be highly ranked and we have another chance to beat what I think is the best team in the north in a couple of weeks. Both teams on the floor will be teams playing deep in the state playoffs if we both play like we can,” said Perkins.
Rayanna Wauneka finished with 12 points. Madison Chappell added 10, all in the second half; Elena Smith had 8; Twyla Clark, 4; Tristen Ambrose, 3; Tyanna Johnson, 3; and Dakota Dick and Matehya Aberle helped with 2 each. Both teams shot well from the line with Holbrook converting 13 of 18 and Page made good on 12 of 16. The Sand Devils had three treys, while Holbrook finished with five from distance.
Prior to Saturday’s loss Holbrook was in Show Low on Jan. 4, where they came away with a sluggish 52-29 East Region win over the Lady Cougars. Holbrook led just 10-7 after the first, but opened the game up in the second period where they outscored Show Low 21-2 to lead 31-9 at the break. Both teams played even in the second half before Holbrook picked up their 15th win of the season.
“We traditionally play poorly after the Christmas break in the first game back and this game was no exception. Girls looked like they were playing in mud, but in the end we got what was an ugly, ugly win,” said Perkins.
Smith led the way with 11 points. Tyler Pacheco had 9; Clark, Dakota Dick and Chappell all had 6; Johnson, 5; Aberle, 5; Ambrose, 2; and Megan Cummings scored 2. Holbrook made eight of 16 charities and hit six from distance. The Cougars made three of nine free throws and had two three-point shots.
Holbrook headed into Tuesday’s game at Snowflake with an overall mark of 15-3. Their regular season record is now 6-1 and they are ranked in the top three in the state. On Thursday Holbrook will welcome in East Region rival Winslow. Saturday will have the Birds on the road once again when they travel to the Valley to face third ranked Valley Christian. Next Tuesday Holbrook will be in Payson to face a top 10, Lady Longhorn squad.