Whitehorse girls win tournament in Chinle, boys finish in third place

by David Boyle
News Director
The Whitehorse Lady Raiders won the Southwest Food Excellence Championship tournament in Chinle over the weekend.
The lady Raiders lost their first game of the tournament to the host Chinle Wildcats 45-38, on December 21, but were able to bounce back on December 22 with a 63-53 victory over Piñon. The tournament format put the lady Raiders in the championship game playing the tournament host Wildcats once again.
 Playing the 3A Arizona school a second time, Coach Joni Dickson said they knew it would be a tough game.
“We knew we were the underdogs in this match up.”
The lady Raiders had a one-point lead at halftime 22-21, but the wildcats took a 34-32 lead after three quarters, the Raiders defense stepped up in the final frame and outscored Chinle 11-5 in the fourth quarter to earn the 43-39 win over Chinle.
In the championship game, the lady raiders were led by the guard play of Shunbaah Begay who finished with 15 points, and Heidi Clark who scored 12.
The front court played well with Harmony Thomas scoring six points, Keiarra Martin scoring five, and Kayla Mitchell scoring three with LaMyia Benally scoring two points.
In addition to the championship senior Shunbaah Begay and freshman Keiarra Martin both earned all-tournament honors.
Coach Dickson shared that the tournament championship was a win for the program.
“This team took our pregame plan of “hard work beats talent” and showed how much they wanted this win. They played with heart. Our bench keeping the positive energy to the JV helping with team practices at the beginning of the week.”
While the girls earned the championship the Whitehorse boys also played well earning third place at the Southwest Food Excellence Championship tournament.
The Whitehorse boys team also opened their tournament playing Chinle with the Wildcats defeating the Raiders 72-23 in the opening game on December 21. The Whitehorse boys bounced back in their second game of the tournament defeating Wingate 49-43 on December 22. The Raiders were led in the game by Lyric Phillips who scored 27 points, Larenz Tsosie scored nine points, Adam Joe had five points and Dominic Dance and Tristan Black each had four points.
The Raiders finished the tournament earning third place by defeating Shonto Prep 60-41 on December 23.
Against Shonto Prep the Raiders were led by Dance who had 17 points, while Phillips put in 14 points, and Tsosie added 12. Adam Joe scored eight points, while Black had five, Kaleb Joe and Kalin Tohonnie each scored two points.

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