State champs help North to double-digit win

Navajo Times | Adron Gardner
North All Star Melanie Secody of Shiprock is swarmed by South All Stars on a drive during the New Mexico High School Coaches Association Girls Basketball All-Star game at Cibola High School June 10.


With experience on their side, it was hard for the North All-Stars not to win.

The New Mexico High School Coaches Association 3A/4A North girls’ basketball team was coached by newly retired Pojoaque coach Matt Martinez.

Matinez coached the Elkettes to three state titles and served as the athletic director for the last 18 years. Over the weekend, he led the state-champion filled North team to a 98-75 victory.

“I hadn’t coached in 17 years, so they took me of out of hibernation,” Martinez said. “It was a lot of fun. It was just like it was yesterday.”

He said he was elated to be able to coach a team filled with state champions from Shiprock and Tohatchi.

He said they were the horsepower behind the team.

“The state champion Shiprock girls and the Tohatchi girls state champions, to have group like that mixed in with the other group, they fit perfectly,” he said. “They worked excellent together.”

With a rough start on both sides of the basket, the North team stayed close behind the South but eventually broke free and took a 24-22 lead midway through the first half.

Both teams struggled with turnovers and missed shots but managed to stay afloat, keeping within less than six points of each other.

With 3:56 left in the first half, the North led 36-35 before they went on an 11-0 run to lead the South 47-36. The North led 49-38 at the half.

Paige Dale, a North guard from Shiprock, said the team took some time to adjust to playing with each other and resulted in the sluggish first half.

“It felt it did (have an impact),” she said. “It was really challenging to play against other players who you don’t know how they’re going to be towards you.”

 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

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 or via cell at (505) 686-0769.