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Tue, Oct. 22

Lady Vikes two for three in season’s last regular week<br>

Vikings forward Michelle Sandoval fights for the ball with a Rough Rock player on Feb. 3. At the Feb. 4 victory over Valley Sanders, defense and free throws were key for the win.

Rodriguez says he was happy about the outcome of the match because it allowed him to play much of the junior varsity squad, who’d had their game cancelled.

One of the reasons for the lop-sided score may be due to the fact that five starters were disciplined early on in the season, leaving the Rough Rock team wanting.

The girls racked up 31 rebounds — 15 offensive and 16 defensive — were 7 for 11 from the line and shot 53 percent from the field overall.

Guard Teri Stevens led in scoring with 14 points, snatched four steals, and was two for two at the line. Forward Jarah Dent added 13 to the scoreboard and grabbed seven rebounds, while forward Michelle Sandoval had 11 points with six rebounds and one from three-point land.

Guard Chesney Grantham contributed with four assists and three steals, while guard Michelle Barnes logged in five assists, eight steals, and one three-point shot.

The Lady Vikings continued their winning ways the next evening at home with a tough 57-54 win over Valley Sanders, a fact Rodriguez was very proud about.

“We knocked them out of the number-two spot,” Rodriguez announced.

Williams outscored the Valley Pirates in all but the fourth quarter and were able to continue to improve on percentages, such as 23 for 30 at the line for 76 percent.

“Free throws and defense won that game,” Rodriguez explained.

That’s a concept illustrated quite well by the fact that no field goals were made at all by Williams in the fourth quarter — all 12 of the period’s points came from the penalty stripe. In addition, an aggressive Lady Vikes team snagged 13 offensive and 21 defensive boards and had only 11 turnovers the whole match.

Once again, Stevens was the queen of the scoreboard with 14 points. She shot six for eight at the line and stole the ball twice. Barnes sank a three-pointer, went seven for eight at the penalty stripe for a total of 12 points, assisted five times and had four steals, while Dent made her mark with 12 points as well, getting the same at the line as Stevens and grabbing 13 boards.

“They (Lady Vikes) played like they’re capable of playing. There was a lot of teamwork and they pushed the ball very well,” Rodriguez said, adding that he had all the confidence in the world in his girls and that the win was payback for a previous loss in January.

As with many 2A teams, St. John’s was just too tough to beat. They unfortunately trampled Williams 70-38 on Feb. 5, forcing the Lady Vikes to end their regular conference season with a loss.

“That’s the difference a day makes,” Rodriguez commented.

The girls did try their best to fight back with 21 defensive and seven offensive rebounds, but only shot 41 percent from the field and were zero for eight at the free throw stripe.

“St. John’s came out on fire,” Rodriguez added about the 11-1 conference-play team. “They seemed a lot more rested than we were.”

Another factor Rodriguez revealed may have been the fact that Sandoval was out from the game due to a prior commitment.

“I can’t make any excuses — they’re good,” he said.

Dent was the leading scorer in this contest with 10 points and four rebounds, while forward/center Tami Edes came in second with nine points, eight rebounds and one steal.

Stevens contributed with six points, two steals and one assist.

The Lady Vikes go into regional playoff action tonight at Red Mesa ranking fifth behind them, Valley Sanders, Many Farms, and St. John’s.

The girls’ overall record for the season stands at .500 with nine wins, nine losses and Rodriguez says if the teams plays like they did on Feb. 4, they have a good chance of advancing.

He adds that both the girls and coaches are feeling good about their performance going into the regional playoffs.

On a side note, it was learned by the News that Rodriguez celebrated hi 100th win as the varsity girls coach with the Jan. 13 previous win over Rough Rock. Quite a happy time as well, as the next day, the 14th, was his birthday.

Rodriguez started coaching for the Lady Vikes basketball team in the 1996-1997 season. His first win was in November of 1997.

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