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By C.J. Sells
Special to Larson Newspapers

When Brian Bergner Jr. was named head boys basketball coach at Sedona Red Rock High School during the spring, he immediately went to work preparing for the 2010-2011 season.

Graham McGilvray is a top up-and-comers for the Sedona Red Rock High School boys basketball  team, which will be looking to reload in 2010-2011 after six seniors  graduated this past season.Bergner said he knows that to have a successful program, you don’t start in November. He also knows you need a lot of players, and those players need to play a lot of games.

So, after a March meeting where close to 20 players showed up expressing an interest to play summer basketball, Bergner began putting his summer schedule together.

Sophomore Steven Sundberg is one of two top up-and-comers for the Sedona Red Rock High School boys basketball  team, which will be looking to reload in 2010-2011 after six seniors graduated this past season.The Scorpions played in leagues in Flagstaff, as well as hosting a league in Sedona and participating in a tournament at Northern Arizona University.

What Bergner has found out through weeks of open gyms and playing games is that he has some talent to work with and that the future looks bright for the Scorpions.

This summer, Sedona has notched wins over Coconino, Camp Verde and Ironwood Ridge high schools. In the tournament at NAU, the Scorpions lost a nail-biter to a good Alchesay High School squad. With more than 30 games under their belt in June alone, Bergner said he likes what he sees.

“We’re putting in an entirely new system, and it’s going to take some time for the boys to get used to it,” Bergner said.

“My staff and I have liked what we’ve seen out there so far,” he added.

Bergner is not new at this. He was a player at Sedona for three years, from 1998 through 2001.

He was an integral part of the team during the most successful season the boys basketball program has ever had, during the 1999-2000 season, when the Scorpions went 27-4 and reached the final four of the 2A conference state playoffs.

Senior Blake Barker goes to the hole during a summer league game at Sedona Red Rock High School on June 8. Barker is expected to be one of the top players for the Scorpions in the 2010-2011 season. The Scorpions finished June with an overall record of 17-15.After he transferred to NAU in 2004 to return home, Bergner came back to Sedona and began his coaching career. He has been an assistant coach for the past six seasons, helping out with both the boys and the girls programs.

Last season Sedona finished 18-13 and made the state playoffs, losing to Holbrook High School in the first round. But graduation has thinned the roster considerably. Bergner does have six players returning from last year’s squad, but depth will be a concern, and he’s hoping this summer a few guys emerge that will be able to play quality minutes next season.

As for his coaching style, Bergner said he coaches like he used to play.

“I want to get up and down, run the floor and shoot quickly. We have the athleticism and talent to do this, and I believe this is the right path we need to take to be successful,” he said.

So far the kids are enjoying their new coach, but they know they have some adjusting to do.

“When you get a new coach it’s always going to be a little awkward. But since I played for coach [Bergner] my freshman year, I already know him and his mentality. This summer has been good — we’re learning a new system, and it’s going to take some time,” senior Martin Galvez said.

“This summer has been pretty fun. I like our new offense and the job coach Bergner is doing. I’m looking forward to next season — we should do pretty well,” senior Blake Barker added.

If the summer is any indication, the Scorpions will continue their winning ways in 2010-2011.


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