Chief girls play sloppy, but still win big

By Todd Fuqua

Photo by Todd Fuqua Mescalero's Alyn Kazhe-Kirgan, left, defends against a shot by a Cibecue, Ariz. player, Dec. 28, during the first round of the Striking Eagle Native American Invitational at Albuqeurque.

ALBUQUERQUE – No matter how much coach Elmer Chavez works to keep his team in shape, the Mescalero girls basketball team still looked out of sorts in their game against Cibecue, Ariz., in the first round of the striking eagle need of American invitational, Dec. 28.

Photo by Todd Fuqua Ruidoso’s Romona Fossum prepares to shoot a three-point attempt, Dec. 28, during her team’s win over Cibecue, Ariz., in the first round of the Striking Eagle Native American Invitational at Albuquerque.

Not that it seem to matter. The Chiefs rolled in a 76-37 decision to move on in the championship bracket of the tourney and remain undefeated.

“We had our best practice this morning of the break, and I thought we were rusty, but we’re getting a lot more girls in there and that’s going to help us in the long run,” Chavez said. “Yvonne Douglas, Paris Davis, and others came out and did a great job for us.”

Make no mistake, the Wildcats (3-8) were just as scrappy as Mescalero, but the Chiefs (12-0) just had more athleticism over all, and used that to their advantage.

Mescalero continue to pull away, turning a 12-10 lead with 2:22 left in the first quarter into a 42-25 lead by half time.

Fallon Velasquez was the top Chief with 23 points, while Katelyn Yuzos put in 16.

Freshman Samantha Kazhe – who contributed seven points to the cause – said speed is still a concern for her team.

“We were a little out of control, we just need to calm down and focus, since we like to push it,” Kazhe said. “Sometimes it goes too fast for us.”

While the Chiefs may not have played their best, coach Chavez has little to complain about.

“We’re 12-0 and starting freshmen and sophomores,” Chavez said. “There’s not too many teams that can start so many young players and still be so efficient.”

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