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Winning five of their last seven games to end the regular season, the Sedona Red Rock High boys basketball team clinched a 3A state playoff berth by taking third place in the 3A-West, something this group wasn’t sure was going to happen just a few weeks ago.

“We were struggling for a while there, but we picked up the pace and the boys deserve to go to state,” second-year Sedona head coach Bob Murphy said.

After weather on Feb. 10 ruined their chance at a trip to Parker High, Sedona had to win two games in a row on Feb. 12 against River Valley High, and then again in the makeup game against Parker on Feb. 13, to seal the deal and get into the state playoffs.

The Scorpions did just that, defeating River Valley on Thursday by the final score of 42-30 and getting a little revenge on the team that beat them 46-32 back on Jan. 9.

Then came the trip everyone does not look forward to ... Parker.

With a four-hour trip ahead of them, the Scorpions boarded the bus with one thought in mind: “Take third.”

Sedona would have to beat Parker, at Parker, to be all alone in third place and cement its place in history. For the first time in four years the Scorpions did so, beating the Broncs on their own home floor, 57-56.

With a raucous crowd in attendance and ready to go after a wild junior varsity game which came down to the last shot, Sedona players came out on fire, hitting four of their first five shots and going on to take a 14-13 lead at the end of one.

Sedona would steadily continue to pick apart the 2-3 zone Parker was trying to use in effort to stop the Scorpions, but junior Kevin Cox was on a mission.

“I haven’t played all that well lately, but I was feeling good against Parker,” Cox said.

It was a good thing, too, because his 18 first-half points propelled Sedona into a 27-21 first-half lead as both teams headed into the locker room.

Cox had 30 on the game, hitting 12 of his 23 shots and was a perfect 6-6 from the free throw line.

At halftime, Parker held a moment of silence for a player’s mother who died just a few weeks earlier in her fight with cancer.

Sedona players joined in on the silence in honor of the fallen parent, but after it was over the boys refocused their attention on the game.

In the second half, sophomore point guard Martin Galvez joined in on the fun, scoring nine points and pulling down four rebounds while distributing three assists throughout the game, but especially in the second half where his play went to a higher level.

Parker and Sedona each managed to score 15 points in the third quarter as the Scorpions still led 42-36.

Following suit however, Parker stormed on in the fourth quarter and tied it at 42-42 with just under six minutes to go in the game.

Senior Sammy Holeyfield scored a few buckets in the quarter, giving his team the lead and adding to his game total of eight points, but more importantly, a career-high 12 rebounds.

“I was doing what I could to help us out,” Holeyfield said.

With 1:01 remaining, it looked like Sedona had wrapped up its first win in Parker with a 57-50 lead, but after Parker sunk two threes, one at the buzzer, the Scorpions barely held on for the win, 57-56.

“It was huge for this group to get this win at Parker. I can’t say enough about our effort,” Murphy said.

Other standouts included junior Thomas Wisbey who didn’t score on the night but had nine rebounds, three steals and three blocked shots.

Senior Stadler Ho scored four points, and he had eight rebounds, four steals and four assists in the victory as well.

With the win, Sedona wraps up the regular season with a 13-14 overall record and a 7-5 mark in the 3A-West region, good enough for third place.

The No. 11 Scorpions turn their attention to No. 6 Payson High, who they will play in the first round of the 3A state tournament Saturday, Feb. 21.

Sedona lost to Payson just before Christmas break on Dec. 19 by the final score of 58-42.

“We need to have a good week of practice and focus our efforts and going to Payson and giving them all we have,” Murphy said.

Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m.

Brian Bergner Jr. can be reached at 282-7795, ext. 131, or e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


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