Lady Roadrunners step up their game to win two

The Lady Roadrunners picked up wins in their first two regular season games with a 70-39 win at Blue Ridge on Friday night, followed by a 48-30 victory over visiting Safford on Saturday afternoon. Facing the Lady Yellowjackets in Blue Ridge it took the Lady Birds a little while to get going, but by the end of the first period Holbrook held an 18-11 advantage.

In the second period seven Holbrook players combined to pour in 27 points as the Birds built a comfortable lead. Elena Smith hit a pair of treys and Rayanna Wauneka also connected from distance. Madison Chappell netted four of her game high 16 in the second frame as well. Leading 45-23 going into the third, the Birds’ defense played well and they again scattered their scoring among six players extending the lead to 64 to 33. With a running clock in the final period the game finished quickly with both teams combining for just 12 points.

Chappell led the team in points with 16, followed closely by Smith who had 14. Dakota Dick added 10, Matehya Aberle, 8; Tristen Ambrose, 6; Wauneka, 6; and Tyler Pacheco and Tyanna Johnson each hit for 5. Holbrook finished with seven three-point shots, four from Smith, and went 15 for 23 at the line.

Blue Ridge countered by making two three-point field goals and hit five of eight charity tosses.

Hosting Safford for their first home game of the season, albeit at the junior high school, the Lady Roadrunners were tremendously outsized but played solidly on defense and sent the Bulldogs home with a 48-30 loss. After Safford jumped out to an 8-2 lead, Holbrook regrouped and battled back to tie the game at 10-10 by the end of the first. Wauneka played well off the bench netting 4 of those 10.

In the second period Holbrook’s defense began to clamp down on Safford’s guards holding them to just 6 points for the period, while the Roadrunners netted 17 to take an 11 point lead to the locker room. Johnson sparked the team with a pair of three-point bombs and Smith added 5. The third quarter was really the deciding point. Holbrook again held Safford to single digits, while outscoring them by ten to lead 44-23 with only one quarter left. Smith hit a pair of deep three’s and Chappell helped with five. Holbrook scored just four in the final period, but they had enough to close out the win.

Smith led in scoring with 13 points.  Chappell added 11, Johnson and Wauneka each had 6, Tyler Pacheco and Matehya Aberle both hit 4, Dakota Dick and Tristen Ambrose each had 2 in the win. Holbrook made five three-point field goals, and went 5 for 5 at the line.

Safford went without a three-point field goal and made four of eight free throws.

“It took a while to get going in the Blue Ridge game, but we found our rhythm in the second quarter and played solid offensively from then on.  Saturday’s game was definitely our best defensive effort thus far this season. They had tremendous size, but I thought we did a good job of negating some of that with Dakota pushing the ball up the court and the rest of the team running the floor well. They got us a couple of times with their big girls, but for the most part we played good help side defense and forced them into a lot of mistakes.

“It’s always good to start the season on a good note, now we have to keep focused and get ready for Alchesay and Chinle, two teams which can really pile up points if we allow them,” said Coach Greg Perkins.

After playing a good Alchesay team in Whiteriver on Tuesday night, the Ladies will be off for a week before they host Chinle next Tuesday. With the two wins, Holbrook improves their season mark to 5-2, and more importantly they are 2-0 in power point contests.