By Steven Law
Special to the Chronicle
PAGE – The Lady Sand Devils carried home the trophy at this year’s Lake Powell Holiday Classic after defeating the Tuba City Warriors 42-30 in the tournament’s championship game Saturday evening.
The Sand Devils defeated Crimson Cliffs Thursday 57-12 in the tournament’s opening game, and the Kirtland Central Broncos 39-36 Friday night, in what was the tournament’s closest and most exciting game.
The Broncos are a very talented team. They’re well-coached. They have some very athletic players and they run a fast-paced game, marked by excellent ball movement, which made the Sand Devils victory over them all the more impressive.
Sand Devils sophomore Miquedah Taliman was in the zone during Saturday’s championship victory against the Warriors. She hit four, two-point jump shots on the Sand Devils’ first five possessions while she and her fellow teammates held the Warriors to just two points in the same period.
Taliman soon got some offensive help from Nadya Begay and Torrance Begay. The Sand Devils led 14-7 at the end of the first quarter.
The team’s offense slowed down in the second quarter while the Warriors offense picked it up. The team led by just four points, 19-15, at halftime.
The Warriors cut the lead to two in the opening minutes of the third quarter, which brought the Sand Devils out of their spell. The momentum shifted back to the Sand Devils after senior guard Ashlyn Adakai stole the ball from the Warriors, which was followed by back-to-back scores from Diana Secody and Torrance Begay on a nifty assist from Emma Yazzie.
With additional scoring from Nadya Begay and Neve Redhair, the Sand Devils built back a 32-21 lead to end the third quarter.
The Lady Sand Devils finished the tournament’s final quarter strong, with a strong defense and fast-paced offense, maintaining an 8 to 11-point lead throughout.
The final score read Sand Devils 42, Warriors 30.
Taliman led all scorers with 12 points, followed by Redhair with 7, Nadya Begay with 7, and Torrance Begay with 6.
Redhair, Camryn Nockideneh, and Miquedah Taliman were selected to the All-Tournament First Team. In addition Taliman was voted tournament MVP, and she took third in the 3-point contest.
The Lady Sand Devils are now 4-0. Their next game is against Pusch Ridge Christian Academy (Tucson, Arizona) on Tuesday, Dec. 17. Varsity plays at 6 p.m.