Red Mesa girls headed back to state


They’re back.

Navajo Times | Ravonelle Yazzie
Red Mesa’s Meaghan Cheromiah (12) goes for a jump shot against her Rock Point opponents on Friday during the 1A North Regional basketball tournament in Fort Defiance. Red Mesa dropped a 47-45 decision to Rock Point in the 1A North Regional basketball tournament.

After a one-year hiatus the Red Mesa girls’ basketball team will take part of the Big Dance.

Red Mesa earned the No. 11 seed at this year’s Arizona 1A state basketball tournament. They open the playoffs with a first round game against No. 6 Mogollon on Friday. Tipoff is scheduled for noon at Bradshaw Mountain High School in Prescott Valley, Ariz.

“Last year we fell short at going to state so it’s good to be back,” Red Mesa coach Sandy Benally said.

The longtime Red Mesa coach said he has a decent squad but for them to get deep in the tournament they need to play as scrappy as they can, especially at the defensive end.

“We need to apply pressure all four quarters and not back down,” Benally said. “That is going to be one of our advantages at state because height is something we don’t have. We need to attack up front and take control.”

Of the 12 girls on his squad, senior Meaghan Cheromiah and junior Jessica Simpson are the only players that have state experience.

“Everyone else is new to it,” Benally said. “I actually have a young team. I have two seniors; one junior and the rest are sophomores. Some of my young girls don’t know what it’s like but my two veterans are excited to be back at the state tournament. I hope with their enthusiasm they can push themselves.”

At last week’s 1A North Regional basketball tournament Red Mesa dropped a 47-45 decision to Rock Point. With five seconds left in the game, Red Mesa went from one end of the court to the other and had an a good look at the basket to win the game.

Nevertheless, Cheromiah’s basket missed its mark.

“Meaghan had a good look and what more can you ask for?” Benally quipped. “It’s one of the plays we run all the time and we just have to learn how to finish them.”

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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