Monument Valley girls beats Monticello at home to remain the top-ranked team in San Juan County

The Monument Valley High School girls basketball team defeated Monticello 83-29 in their home gym this past Friday, January 20.
The Cougars built an impressive 36-4 lead through one quarter. At halftime their lead was 52-16, After three quarters Monument Valley led 71-26, and the final score favored the Cougars 83-29.
Monument Valley was led in scoring on the night by Alyah Blackwater who scored 20 points. While the point guard led the team in scoring she also initiated offense for the Cougars with most baskets in the game coming from assists.
“Giving the ball to everyone is what every team needs,” Blackwater said after the game. “I choose to pass it and tell everyone to pass it fast and get it to everyone as best we can.”
Teammate Shimequa Hudson finished the game with 15 points including three made threes. Hudson said she’s comfortable shooting from anywhere just like she’s comfortable sharing the ball.
“This team is like my family,” Hudson explained. “[Coach Terri] James always told me to treat them like family and I always do.”
Raemi Nez scored 14 points in the win, while Neveah Wilson scored ten. Precious Bedonie scored eight, Mariah Begaye had six, Lillianna Fatt and Keilaana Smith each had four points, and Shikeeya Hudson scored two.
Monument Valley Head Coach Terri James said the team’s sharing aspect is related to the work they put in throughout the season.
“I just tell them you are sisters,” she stated. “You share everything out there. It’s not about who’s going to make the most points or who’s going to do the fanciest move.
“It’s about putting as many baskets in as we can and it doesn’t matter who does that.” James says the team gels well together, works hard, and loves to run.
“One thing that I have seen from this group is they don’t have fear. They have a lot of confidence. In the past when I’ve coached teams here the girls are a little bit hesitant. Especially when they are playing teams that are not from the reservation they kind of get intimidated a little but this team doesn’t. They just play.”
That attitude has been reflected in the team’s excited anticipation to take on defending Arizona 1A State Champions Rock Point on January 25 and future challengers.
When asked about the team’s goals for the season Blackwater responded, “State champions. Isn’t that what everyone wants?”
Monticello senior Avery Shumway led Buckaroo scoring in the losswith ten points. Jemma Robison scored six, Rosy Beh and Nikki Gomez scored four apiece, Kahryme Alvarado and Kaymee Freestone got two each, and Kenlee Atwood scored one.
Monument Valley improved to 10-4 on the year and is ranked #4 in the 1A RPI. They are highest ranked among San Juan County teams so far this season.
The Cougars hosted Pinnacle and Rock Point on January 24 and 25 after the San Juan Record print deadline.
They travel to Montezuma Creek this Friday, January 27 to take on Whitehorse in the first Battle of the Drum of the season.
Monticello fell to 2-11 on the year and is ranked 19th in the 1A RPI. Monticello hosted Dove Creek on January 24, also too late for our print deadline.
The Buckaroos next play on Tuesday, January 31 when they host the Pinnacle Panthers.

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