Shiprock advances to championship round

By Sunnie Clahchischiligi
Navajo Times

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M., March 14, 2014

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The Shiprock Lady Chieftains are not just No. 1, they are the only one.

The only area team left in the state basketball tournament that is.

The Lady Chiefs defeated No. 4 Hope Christian 63-35 in the semi-finals on Thursday to advance to the 3A title game with No. 3 Portales that is set for today at 3:30 p.m. at The Pit.

The match with Portales is a rematch of the 2002 state title game when the Lady Chiefs defeated the Rams 75-60 for the championship title. It was the last time Shiprock earned a state title in girls' basketball.

This year is also the first time in 25 years the Lady Chiefs have entered the state tournament with an undefeated record. Shiprock is now 29-0. In 1989, coached under Jerry Richardson, the Lady Chiefs entered the championship game 26-0. They then went onto win the state championship title over archrivals Kirtland Central 85-55.

Coincidently, the 1989 Shiprock Lady Chiefs will be recognized at 3 p.m. today at The Pit, before Shiprock and Portales tip off.

The last time Shiprock girls made it to the championship game was in 2011, coached by former Shiprock coach Brady Rivers, and lost to Santa Fe Indian School to finish in second place.

Those who didn't fair as well in the semi-finals yesterday were the Gallup Lady Bengals and the Laguna Acoma boys' and girls' teams.

Gallup was defeated by district 6-4A rivals and No. 1 Los Lunas 67-41. The Tigers got a jump-start on the Bengals and Gallup had trouble finding their offense. They end their season 21-9.

Laguna Acoma girls suffered a 35-26 loss to No. 1 Texico. They finished their season 24-6

The No. 1 Laguna Acoma boys' team faced an upset by No. 4 Texico, 63-59. Texico gave them their only loss of the season 29-1.

To read more from the state tournament, pick up a copy of the Navajo Times this week and next week.

For updates from the championship game follow Navajo Times sports writer Sunnie Clahchischiligi on Twitter: @clahchischiligi.

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