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Although it was a much smaller crowd then the night before in the boys game, the

No. 8 Sedona Red Rock High School girls basketball team was thrilled to host No. 9 Fountain Hills High School in the first round of the 3A conference state tournament Tuesday, Feb. 16.

With a good showing from the Sedona fans who cheered loudly for their favorite team, the Scorpions unfortunately came up just short, losing to the Falcons in the last few seconds, 45-41.

srrhs-girls-bball-2-19“We had our chances ... all you want as a player and coach is a chance and we had a chance. We had too many turnovers but the girls gave a good effort and played hard,” first-year Sedona Head Coach C.J. Sells said after the game Tuesday.

The Scorpions committed 30 turnovers against Fountain Hills, a season high for a Sedona team who came into the competition averaging turnovers 17.6 per game.

In the first quarter, Sedona quickly jumped all over the Falcons with their full-court pressure and took a 13-2 lead with four minutes to go.

Fortunately for the Falcons however, they had Kayla Patton, who was outstanding, scoring 13 of her 19 points in the first quarter to help bring her team within one, 16-15, completing a 13-3 run to end the quarter.

On Sedona’s side of the court, senior Rita Clancy was outstanding, scoring 10 of her 16 in the first period as well.

In the second quarter, Sedona freshman Sierra Hatler-Stefick hit two big buckets to help the Scorpions but Fountain Hills eventually outscored Sedona 12-11 to tie things up at halftime, 27-27.

Enter Fountain Hills forward Greta Vogel, who was tough to stop, taking over in the second half for the Falcons, scoring 14 of her 19 in the third and fourth quarters.

Both teams tied each other at four points apiece in the third quarter, but Fountain Hills survived a 37-33 lead by the Scorpions with 3:22 to play by going on an 8-0 run thanks to Vogel to take a 41-37 lead.

Sedona answered with a little 4-0 run of its own as Hatler-Stefick came up big, hitting a bucket over her left shoulder in the post to tie it, 41-41 with 1:10 to play.

On the ensuing possession, Patton hit a jumper to give her team the lead right back, 43-41, then got the ball back on a Sedona turnover. As the Falcons tried to dribble out the clock, they wound up traveling, giving the ball right back to Sedona.

With 15 seconds to go, Sedona sophomore Ashley Haas got a wide open look at the basket from 20 feet out on the right side and just missed it.

“Ashley [Haas] has the guts to take that shot, and that’s what you want,” Sells said.

Vogel got the rebound however, dribbled all the way down court and layed it in while being fouled by senior Katie Adams for the bucket, plus the foul, putting her Falcons up 45-41 with 8.2 seconds to go.

It was the fifth foul for Adams, who had to sit and watch the last 8.2 seconds of her high school career from the bench.

The bucket was a heartbreaker, and even though Vogel missed the free throw, Sedona was down two possessions with eight seconds and had to hope for a miracle but wouldn’t get it as Clancy’s last gasp three-pointer fell short.

“We didn’t take care of the basketball and let them dictate what we did offensively. We played a tough schedule this year and got a lot accomplished. We played like a team,” Adams said after the game with tears in her eyes, knowing that her high school career was over.

With the loss, Sedona ends the season with a 13-13 overall record and finishes the season ranked No. 8 in the Arizona Interscholastic Association power point rankings.

Standouts included Clancy who had seven rebounds and five steals to go along with her 16 points while Adams had eight points on 3-10 shooting and eight rebounds, four steals, two blocks and two assists.

Hatler-Stefick had six points, four rebounds and two steals, while junior Chelsea Strong had six points, six rebounds, three steals and three assists.

Sedona will lose only two seniors in Adams and Clancy, making it a very interesting off-season wait for the Scorpions.

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