The Page's girls 3A Conference basketball team capped an unbeaten North Region season Saturday night with the championship of the region tournament, defeating Chinle 52-34.
Page, the top seed in a tournament that served as only a tuneup for the start of this week's 3A state tournament, led 23-12 at halftime and coasted behind 18 points from senior Myka Taliman. The Sand Devils (22-4) will start the state tourney as the No. 2 seed Friday.
Page has now won 15 straight, three of them at the expense of Chinle, No. 8 in 3A rankings and the third seed in the region tournament that was completed in Fort Defiance. The Sand Devils have not lost this calendar year, and are unbeaten since a December tournament in Las Vegas.
Page will meet the winner of No. 18 Gilbert Christian and No. 15 Florence at a neutral site Friday night.
Chinle's boys held off Page for the third time this season Saturday, defeating the Sand Devils 48-36 in the championship game of the 3A North Region tournament in Fort Defiance.
Chinle, the No. 1 seed in the 3A state tournament opening this week, ran the table in the region, including a 57-52 overtime win in Page Jan. 15 and a 54-46 defeat of the Sand Devils in Chinle on Feb. 1.
This time, Cooper Burbank scored 22 points to lead the Wildcats to the tourney title. The game had no bearing on Page's postseason positioning. The Sand Devils will host Benjamin Franklin in the first round at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Page as the 10th seed and the Queen Creek school at No. 23.
Page (19-7) was led by Dainian Sloan, with 13 points Saturday. The Sand Devils had opened with an 8-2 lead, but trailed 23-19 at halftime.
STATE BASKETBALL TOURNAMENTS
The AIA released its brackets for the approaching state basketball tournaments, and the 4A Flagstaff Eagles girls basketball team, the seventh seed, has been slotted against No. 10 Rio Rico.
Flagstaff will host the Hawks in the War Memorial Gymnasium at 7 p.m. Wednesday.
Meanwhile, just making the cut, the No. 24 Northland Prep Spartans boys hoops team will face ninth-seeded Rancho Solano Prep in the play-in round on Wednesday in the Valley.
The Flagstaff Alpine Ski Team, working to defend a Flagstaff USSA Southern Series championship, had a strong showing at Arizona Snowbowl last weekend, the second installment of the three-event series.
The team has won the overall trophy the last three years.
Last Saturday for the team, Luke Schultz from Team FAST took second place in the U10 boys race, and Marco Lewicky from Team FAST also got a runner-up finish for U12 boys. Morgan Maloney from Team FAST finished in first place for both races for U10 girls. Team FAST's Briana Destefano won on the the U12 girls side in the morning and McKenna Maloney took first place for U12 in the afternoon.
Also that Saturday, Team FAST's Cooper French won the men's ability class with a combined two-run score of 1:19.42 and again was victorious in the afternoon with a combined score of 1:28.93. Hannah Gillenwater from Team FAST won the women's ability class with a combined two-run score of 1:27.43 in the morning races and Tori Pisacano won the afternoon races with a combined score of 1:33.17.
In last Sunday's races, Shultz took a third for the U10 boys, and Maloney won gold in both sessions against other U10 girls, making sure to sweep her weekend events. Cooper Spillman from Team FAST finished first in the morning U12 girls race and McKenna Maloney took first in the afternoon installment.
For Team FAST's ability athletes that Sunday, the members were dominant, with French in first, Bridger French second and Ben Beamer in third. For the girls, Tori Pisacano took the top of the podium.
The third and championship event will take place in Taos, New Mexico at the end of March.
Latasha Slim of Page finished in third place at the inaugural girls state wrestling championship in Prescott on Friday.
Competing in the Findlay Toyota Center, Slim wrestled in the 135-pound weight class. She opened with a victory on a forfeit and won by fall over in the quarterfinals before losing on a major decision in the semis. To clinch third place, Slim pinned Adriana Garland of Sunnyside in 42 seconds.
Sharmayn Crank, Leah Reed and Shantel Manymules also represented Page, and Claire Gibson represented Northland Prep Academy while Coconino was represented by Angelina Hernandez.
CHEER AND SPIRIT LINE
Abby Mowbray, Crystal Liang, and Madison Valdes from Flagstaff High School are among more than 800 high school cheerleaders from across the country who represented varsity spirit in the world-famous London New Year’s Day Parade on Jan 1.
The individuals invited to perform in the London celebration are part of the All-American program, selected from Universal Cheerleaders Association and National Cheerleaders Association at summer camps across the country. All-Americans are chosen based on athletic and leadership skills. Only the top 12 percent of athletes who attend camp earn the chance to perform in the holiday spectacular.
Approximately 8,000-10,000 performers represent 20 countries in the parade. Approximately half a million spectators line the parade route and approximately 300 million watch the parade on TV. The parade winds through London along a two-mile route.
Also, two FHS coaches, Madisen and Travis Doerfler, were selected as chaperones for the trip.