Sports Stories

The Sedona Red Rock boys won their first conference game of the season against River Valley High 74-54 at SRRHS on Saturday, Dec. 16.

By Nick Ruland
Larson Newspapers

The Sedona Red Rock boys won their first conference game of the season against River Valley High 74-54 at SRRHS on Saturday, Dec. 16.

The boys opened up the game with a 18-12 first quarter lead and did not look back the rest of the way.

Despite early foul trouble from many of the starters, most notably Matt Nazarian, the boys gained a 20-point victory with relative ease.

?It?s a win we should have gotten. I think we are better than River Valley and those are the ones we have to get,? Head Coach Mike Krajnak said.

Outside of consistent star Michael Krajnak, who had a typical 22-point, 12-rebound, four-steal performance, Sedona found other contributors.

Point guard Stephen Byrnes had one of his best games of the season with 12 points and four assists.

?He did well. He is just a sophomore and he goes up against stronger guards. He took the ball to the basket a couple times,? Coach Krajnak said.

Byrnes looked comfortable taking control of the offense, easing into the responsibility of being a major cog on the varsity squad.

Byrnes displayed a crafty and quick handle to go along with the ability to finish near the basket. Byrnes created open plays for his teammates with controlled but aggressive penetration. Byrnes limited his turnovers to one, which had been a previous concern for SRRHS.

Byrnes also was deadly from the outside, hitting two three-pointers in the middle quarters.

As Sedona searched for consistent help for Krajnak going into regional play after break, Byrnes flashed the ability to be the ?second guy.?

Freshman Kevin Cox also appears to have taken a positive step in his development.

?He is playing with more confidence and taking shots he wouldn?t have taken a couple weeks ago,? Coach Krajnak said.

Cox finished with seven points and two rebounds.

What is known about Cox is his fierce rebounding and his sturdy and athletic play. But if he becomes more than a deferring offensive player with the ability to make an open jump shot, Sedona could have its future.

Sammy Holeyfield was also critical in the first regional game. Though only logging five points, three rebounds and two assists, Holeyfield made numerous hustle and intelligence plays.

As an undersized player without a natural position on the court, Holeyfield seems to do everything better than expected.

Sedona continues to search for vocal leadership, and the quarterback on the football team displayed innate                management abilities.

?We are young and we need somebody to take charge. Sammy [Holeyfield] definitely helps, but we are still trying to find those roles on the team,? Coach Krajnak said.

Holeyfield seems the ideal candidate to take the role. Though he does come off the bench, Holeyfield has a high contribution to minutes on the court ratio, even if his contributions are as small as diving for a loose ball. Holeyfield showed vocal leadership against River valley by directing and encouraging the younger players.

Nazarian added 11 points in limited minutes and Luke Dumyahn had another solid game with eight points, five rebounds, four assists and two steals.

Sedona lost to non-conference power Northwest Christian High 76-42 on Thursday, December 14. NWCHS had three starters taller than 6?5?? and could be the dominant team in 2A basketball.

SRRHS also lost to Williams High 65-50 on Tuesday, Dec. 12.

The Scorpions will play in the White Mountain Holiday Classic Tournament starting Thursday, Dec. 28, before resuming their conference schedule against Estrella Foothills High on Saturday, Jan. 6, on the road.