The Lady Sand Devils displayed control and on-court maturity last Saturday in their 51-25 victory over the 4-7 Snowflake Lobos.
Offensively they’re showing great improvements both inside the paint and from outside the 3-point arc. Defensively they apply relentless full court pressure which frustrates and drains their opponents’ offense.
Led by seniors Myka Taliman and Mikala Benally – both of whom played key roles in last year’s championship season – the Sand Devils commanded the game from tipoff to final buzzer.
It was Taliman who began the scoring for the Sand Devils, which came when she stole a bad pass and returned it coast to coast for an easy layup. On the very next offensive play she found Diana Secody beneath the basket, who added two more points off the Taliman assist.
The Sand Devils ran a full court pressure defense for nearly the entire game. The pressure netted only a few steals, but it interrupted the Lobos flow, rhythm and game plan.
In the first games of the season the Sand Devils haven’t shown much of a threat from 3-point land but that wasn’t the case Saturday. Benally hit one in the waning minutes of the first quarter to give her team an 8-4 lead, which was also the score at the end of the first quarter.
Another senior, Amy Yellowman, opened the second quarter with another 3-pointer. The Sand Devils also got 3-point contributions from senior Meagan Fuller and Freshman Miquedah Taliman.
Junior post player Camryn Nockideneh is finding her groove in the paint and had success Saturday with a left-handed hook-shot, which is a very hard shot to defend.
The Sand Devils had built a 28-10 lead at halftime.
Page continued their full court pressure in the second half and halfway through the third quarter the Lobos offense looked increasingly frustrated at their inability to break it.
Leading by 28 points in the fourth quarter, Lady Sand Devils head coach Ryan Whitehorse replaced all his starters and regular players with freshmen and sophomores, who added another eight points in the game’s final minutes.
The final score read Sand Devils 51, Lobos 25. The Lady Sand Devils are now 5-2 for the season. Their next game is at home this Friday against Pinon. Tip-off is at 5:30 p.m.
They travel to Sedona on Saturday, then to the Las Vegas Holiday Classic during the Christmas break.