Alexandra Jake (22) drives in front of the blocking of Claire Apachito.
Russell Huffman | El Defensor Chieftain

The Lady Cougars recovered from a slow start on Feb 24 as Alamo Navajo got back on track for a 44-37 win over Corona to clinch the girls District 3-1A basketball tournament title.

Alamo (21-6) adds the district tournament crown to its regular-season title after the Lady Cougars went 8-0 in league play.

Hailey Apachito led the scoring against a much-taller Corona squad that had the edge when it came to rebounding, but even against ball-hog teams, Alamo’s defense produces turnovers.

The two teams faced each other three times this season, and each time they followed a tempo pointed out by coach J.J. Apachito when his team played Hondo earlier this year.

“We play better on the road. The girls are sometimes shy, and with all the home fans there and cheering, they feel a little pressure,” Apachito said.

That theory holds up when considering the Lady Cougars beat Corona on the road 53-36 and 43-30 and 44-37 at home.

Apachito’s guiding a young squad that will hopefully shed that shyness with time and sooner would be best because No. 5 Alamo is playing host to No. 11 Dora (18-9, 6-0) in the first round of the Class A state basketball tournament. Tipoff is set for 5 p.m. on March 3.


Hailey Apachito 20, Sapphire Sandoval 11, Valaria Cheney 2, Elliana Guerro 8, Claire Apachito 2, Koolonna Apachito 1.