Lady Sand Devils Place 4th at Holiday Classic

Sophomore guard LeLaura Yazzie passes to a teammate cutting for the basket.

The Kirtland Central Broncos took first place at this year’s Lake Powell Holiday Classic Dec. 1-3 after defeating the Monument Valley Mustangs in the championship game.

The Lady Sand Devils played the East High Leopards for third place but lost 39-45.

One of the invited teams, Bourgade Catholic, dropped out of the tournament the night before, leaving tournament organizers scrambling to fill the void left from Bourgade’s withdrawal. As a courtesy to the other teams in attendance, the Lady Sand Devils played the games that Bourgade Catholic was scheduled to play. This put Page in the position of playing two games on Friday and two games on Saturday.

It was a tough tournament for the Page team, suffering three losses out of the four games they played. They lost to Dixie (a game they played filling in for Bourgade Catholic) 33-48, they lost to Kirtland 33-64, they beat Pinon (a game they played filling in for Bourgade Catholic), and they lost to East High 39-45.

Despite winning just one game, Head Coach Celeste Claw was encouraged by the improvement she saw her players make during the weekend. 

“When selecting the teams to invite to this tournament, we specifically went after teams that are very competitive,” said Coach Claw. “We want to play against great teams, because that’s the best way to see our flaws and weaknesses. That happened. Now we can work to improve those.

“We are a skills team. We have some very talented players, but we need to work on our team chemistry.”

The Lady Sand Devils are starting with good steel but still needs to sharpen the edge and the polish. They’ve got good seeds in the ground, but it’s going to take some nurturing before the blossoms appear.

Coach Claw put this way: “We are still at the stage of the season where we’re putting the pieces of the puzzle together to make a pretty picture by the end of the season.”

Some of the highlights of the tournament included Page point guard Jade Reid being named to the All-Tournament team, and Assistant Coach Jordan Tsosie winning the coach’s category of the 3-point contest.

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