Newcomb wins Chieftain tournament

Newcomb wins Chieftain tournament

FRUITLAND

File
In this file photo, Newcomb’s Deontay Begay (15) shoots between two Whitehorse in last year’s Shiprock Chieftain basketball tournament. The Skyhawks captured this year’s crown defeating Durango 41-33 in the title game.

It was about four years ago when the young Newcomb High School boys’ basketball team was as timid as a youthful team could be.

Now juniors and seniors, the Skyhawks are far from the timid players they once were. They started off 2018-2019 as the tough, resilient team they’ve worked hard to become and won the annual Chieftain Tournament held at Shiprock High School over the weekend.

Newcomb head coach Dominique Richardson said, “Winning this tournament and winning the way we did … gives us confidence to play against a team known to make it deep in the playoffs (Estancia in the opening round of the Laguna tournament.”

Newcomb handled Whitehorse, Shiprock, and Durango in the tournament, defeating Whitehorse 65-28, Shiprock 72-48, and Durango in the title game 41-33.
Richardson said his team felt fairly confident going into the tournament and it showed early on with Whitehorse.

“We looked at the bracket and we were confident seeing where we were at, and seeing the teams that were in it,” he said. “We started out with an 8-0 run.

We just have the mentality of being relentless, just continuing to play and not take plays off … We kept playing and kept on grinding it out.”

Newcomb continued to pressure and push the ball in the second game with host team Shiprock. Richardson said the teams had some back-and-forth in the first half but finished off the win with their known pressure.

“It was pretty much a game of runs in the first half,” he said. “We won by a big margin, creating turnovers.”

The championship game was perhaps Newcomb’s biggest feat to start the season.

Richardson said his team handled the team well, even with centers and guard standing well over six feet tall.

He said they continued to use their style of basketball to their advantage.

“They had a big lineup, we put on ball pressure and were able to create turnovers. That helped us out on the court and get the easy shots,” Richardson said.


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Categories: Basketball

About Author

Sunnie R. Clahchischiligi

Sunnie Clahchischiligi has been the sports writer for the Navajo Times since 2008. She has a bachelor’s degree in print journalism from the University of New Mexico. Before joining the Times, she worked at the St. Cloud Times (Minn.), the Albuquerque Journal, the Santa Fe New Mexican, Sports Illustrated Magazine in New York City and the Salt Lake Tribune. She can be reached at sunnie@navajotimes.com or via cell at (505) 686-0769.