Originally published Tuesday, January 22, 2019 at 12:23p.m.

HOLBROOK, Ariz. — The Holbrook Roadrunners won two non-regional high school basketball match ups at a jam-packed Tony Munoz gym, the Roadrunners (8-9, 2-1) won 70-39 over the Valley Pirates (8-7, 7-2) from Sanders, Arizona.

While the Holbrook Lady Roadrunners (14-4, 2-1) won a closely contested matchup with the Valley Lady Pirates (11-6, 8-1), 44-39.

Holbrook 70, Valley Sanders 39

Holbrook Roadrunner head coach Delmar Johnson talked about the Pirates from Valley Sanders,

“They are known for shooting a lot of threes and making them, they are a good team,” said head coach Delmar Johnson. “We have to defend them and gave up a lot of threes, we have to pressure them full court.”


Holbrook Roadrunners’ Josiah Freddie splits two Valley defenders to attempt a shot, in a non-regional game, at the Tony Munoz Gym in Holbrook, Arizona. (Anton Wero/NHO)

Valley Sanders coach Zachary Button had a similar observation about the Roadrunners.

“They are very good, fast team, a great shooting team — we have to take away their outside shot and match up with them, offensively and defensively,” he said.

Holbrook’s Kobi Koerperich connected on two threes in the opening minutes of the first period plus two driving layups, leading to a 17-point first period start and limiting Valley Pirates to 12 points.

Offensively, a solid start for the Roadrunners taking a lead they didn’t relinquishment for the rest of the contest.

The first quarter offensive surge for the Roadrunners continued in the second quarter matching their first quarter offensive output with 17 points and holding the Valley Pirates to 8 points, they now had a comfortable lead 34 to 20 into intermission.

After the break, the Roadrunners continued to add to their lead with a huge offensive quarter, aided by Josiah Freddie 10 points. Blayne Nelson connecting on his third three point basket of the night and Koerperich was fouled attempting a trey and made three free throws, which all led to a 25-point third quarter spurted. The score was 59-31.

Holbrook’s second half offensive rally in third period led to clearing of the benches and most of the packed house.

Holbrook Roadrunners’ nonstarters concluded the game with 11-8 final quarter and score of 70-39 in their favor.

“We played as a unit, moving the ball and sharing the ball,” Delmar said. “They (Roadrunners) played hard, this game gives more confidence for the second half of our season.”

Speaking of sharing, Koerperich and Freddie shared the game high honors with 22 points each for the Roadrunners.

Holbrook Lady Roadrunners 44, Valley Sanders Lady Pirates 35

Holbrook Lady Roadrunners and Valley Lady Pirates had a slow start, with Holbrook out to a two point advantage 10-8.

The Pirates’ Dana Yazzie, Kiana Nez and Valiyah Yazzie hit 3 baskets from outside the arc to reclaim the lead in the second quarter and led 22 -19 going into the break.

“Valley’s main offense is the 3-point basket and we didn’t defend the it well in the first half,” said Holbrook head coach Greg Perkins. “So we talked pressuring the outside shooting in the locker room.”

With the change in defense, Holbrook limited the Valley Pirates to only one three-pointer and Holbrook’s Desirae Bain hit her second three pointer of the game, cutting into the Pirates lead to four points, 33-29, at the conclusion of the third quarter.

Holbrook Roadrunners’ full court pressure led to gaining control of the game as the visiting Pirates were held to a single basket, while the host Roadrunners combined for a huge 15 point final quarter that led to a 44-35 final score for the Holbrook Roadrunners.

“We didn’t defend them well in the first half,” Perkins said. “We played better defends in the second half and that was the difference.”

Matehya Aberle scored a game high 14 points for the Roadrunners followed by Madison Chappell with 12 points.

Dana Yazzie and Valiyah Yazzie scored a team high 10 points each for the Valley Sanders Pirates.

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