EAGAR — It feels as though the basketball season is split into two seasons.
The first season is a short period right after football that comprises the holidays of Thanksgiving and Christmas.
This often finds teams playing teams out of their divisions and regions. It also often included participating in tournaments such as the Round Valley Round Ball Tournament or the White Mountain Holiday Classic held at Blue Ridge.
These tournaments allow teams and coaches to get game-time experience while often experimenting with lineup changes and variations in offense and defense.
Even though the tournament games provide valuable game-time experience, it does not affect the teams’ records.
The second half of the season is when teams start playing after the new year, and it consists mostly of playing division and region competition, although a few “freedom” games are included to round out the schedule.
The Round Valley boys and girls kicked off the second half of their basketball seasons by playing the visiting Holbrook Roadrunners on Jan 6.
Although Round Valley had three games on the schedule for the week, two of the games were postponed.
The girls team, lead by second-year coach Cheryl Tysseling, got a second chance at a historically very good Roadrunner team lead by coach Greg Perkins.
Perkins has a system and it involves lots of motion or movement and demands a high-energy effort on defense. This style of play has lead to years of success in the girls program for Holbrook.
Round Valley got an early look at Holbrook during the Round Ball tournament.
Although the Elks played hard the Roadrunners took that game 47-37. Thursday night Holbrook brought its highly effective playing style back to the Round Valley Dome.
The game was back and forth all night with Holbrook taking several leads causing Round Valley to battle back to make it close.
In the final minutes of the game, Emma Young made a layup for Round Valley that gave the Elks a two-point lead.
Holbrook would battle back and Noheah Aberle would sink a three-point shot with about a half minute left in the game to put the Roadrunners up by one point. Holbrook would hold on to win the game.
Tysseling noted how the team has “been really working hard to get their game to a higher level.”
The high-energy effort and defense played by the Lady Elks almost allowed them to sneak one from the Roadrunners.
The last time the Holbrook boys played in the Dome it was in the championship for the Round Ball Tournament and that ended with Noah Brown sinking a half-court buzzer beater to give the Roadrunners the win over Silver City, New Mexico.
The Holbrook boys kept their high-energy style of play and jumped out to an early lead over the Elks in the first quarter.
While Round Valley mostly played Holbrook even in the second and fourth quarters of the game the Roadrunners were able to double up the Elks in the first and third quarters leading to a final score of 63-40 for the Roadrunners.
The Elks are led this year by a new head coach in Adam Poston.
In a prior conversation with Poston, he acknowledged early in the season the team was battling injuries following the football season.
He wanted to try and change a few things about the basketball program including at a basic level of getting the players on the court to play more.
This effort started back in the summer when the team participated in summer tournaments both in and out of Arizona in an effort to get the kids playing together.
In recent years football has dominated success for Round Valley.
Poston hopes to help develop a program in which not only football can be successful but also basketball and other programs at the school.
It seems as if there have been years in Round Valley sports history with more success in basketball, and then other times football.
The Elks are hoping to continue to find success on the field and develop similar success on the court.