Ganado three-peats with fresh cast of players


Ganado player raises ball high to overcome a block

Navajo Times | Ravonelle Yazzie
Ganado’s Justin Curley (23) goes up for a shot against Mancos’ Caleb Yoder (4) on Saturday afternoon during the championship game at the Rehoboth Christian High School Boys Basketball Tournament. Ganado won 54-39.

The Ganado boys’ basketball team has a distinctively different look to this year’s squad.

The Hornets graduated 11 seniors, including 6-foot-8-inch Jamaal Coleman last season so first-year coach Norman Hubbell inherited an inexperienced team.

“We’ve obviously shrunk compared to last year’s team,” Hubbell said.

As defending tournament champions of the Rehoboth Christian boys’ basketball tournament for the past two years Hubbell had some reservations about his team three-peating.

“We knew it was going to be more competitive,” he said, while noting that some of the teams from last year’s field returned most of their core players.

Nonetheless, the Hornets (5-1) reached the championship game by beating Cibecue and Tohatchi, two teams that had players bigger than Hubbell’s squad.

In the championship game, they had to deal with a pair of 6-foot-4 players but the Hornets used a strong fourth quarter to pull away from the Mancos Bluejays by a 54-39 count.

“We were obviously outsized the whole tournament,” Hubbell said.

Hubbell said he wasn’t entirely satisfied with the way his team performed during the three-day tournament but he was happy with the way they closed out each game.

“They showed some heart and they showed some real guts out there,” he said.

To win the tournament the Hornets had to get it done on the defensive end. Hubbell cycled out players in and out to keep the game at a fast pace.

“We had to be faster and I had to change out my guards the whole time,” he said. “They had to sprint, sprint and once they got tired I had to put fresh legs in there.”

 To read the full article, pick up your copy of the Navajo Times at your nearest newsstand Thursday mornings!

Are you a digital subscriber? Read the most recent three weeks of stories by logging in to your online account.

  Find newsstand locations at this link.

Or, subscribe via mail or online here.

Categories: Basketball

About Author

Quentin Jodie

Quentin Jodie is the Sports Editor for the Navajo Times. He started working for the Navajo Times in February 2010 and was promoted to the Sports Editor position at the end of summer in 2012. Previously, he wrote for the Gallup Independent. Reach him at