Sports Stories

The Sedona Red Rock High girls basketball team defeated River Valley High 57-46 on Tuesday, Feb. 6, at SRRHS, in the first round of the regional tournament.

By Nick Ruland
Larson Newspapers

The Sedona Red Rock High girls basketball team defeated River Valley High 57-46 on Tuesday, Feb. 6, at SRRHS, in the first round of the regional tournament.

The girls played Wickenburg High on Thursday, Feb. 8, but results were not available by press time.

The girls struggled to put an inferior RVHS team away early but did so in the second half.

Danielle Holman spun in a right-handed layup after Ashley Lo Duca created a steal and delivered the assist to make it 12-6 seconds before the end of the first quarter.

In the second quarter, Holman hit a straight-on jump shot and executed a fundamentally sound two-on-one break with Courtney Fitzpatrick.

Fitzpatrick tipped a steal to Holman, who bounced it back to ?Fitz? on the break for an 18-14 lead.

The girls hit the glass. On the offensive end, it was Katie Adams? relentless toughness inside against bigger foes helping Sedona create extra scoring opportunities.

Adams got the team?s fourth offensive rebound on one possession before finally converting for a 25-18 lead. Bobbi Hillman did the same on the next possession to extend the lead to nine.

The girls led 27-20 at halftime.

SRRHS? lead ballooned to double digits early in the third quarter.

With the comfort of margin in hand, Head Coach Bob Murphy did a little experimenting.

Murphy inserted Lo Duca and Breanne Cunningham into the same back-court at the same time. Typically, Lo Duca is used as Cunningham?s short-minute substitute.

Both players are lightning quick and tenacious defenders.

Though similar, the girls worked in unison.

Having two players with competent ball-handling abilities and fast defensive feet gave RVHS trouble on both ends of the court.

Defensively, the duo swarmed the perimeter, disallowed penetration and inside entry passes and created a bevy of turnovers with feisty hands.

Offensively, the girls were out of sync but displayed the potential to attack the defense from either side of the offensive set, with both players able to get inside.

Fitzpatrick found Cunning-ham on a back-cut, which shut the door on RVHS in the middle of the fourth [48-34].

It may not have been the girls? best game, but they had many contributors.

Fitzpatrick led the way with 15, Hillman had seven, Adams had seven, Holman had six, Oestmann had eight, Cunningham had eight, Lo Duca had four and Jovanovic added two.

?They were a team I feel we should have separated from,? Murphy said.


Boys lose to Parker

The Sedona Red Rock High boys basketball team lost to Parker High 51-39 on Tuesday, Feb. 6.

The loss eliminated the Scorpions from postseason play.

The boys were unable to capture a sizable lead against PHS and had difficulties closing the gap from four to five points to even.

The loss was a surprise to many on the team who felt that they were on a roll heading into the contest.

?We blew it to a not-terrible team, but we are definitely a better team,? Michael Krajnak said.

?Coach said we thought we deserved [to win],? he said.

?We felt pretty good going out there, but some of us stopped hustling and didn?t run our plays as well,? Luke Dumyahn said.

Dumyahn was one of the team?s bright spots in 2006-07, finding a niche as Sedona?s second-biggest contributor and point-scorer behind Krajnak.

The loss, however, was a fitting end for a team that never seemed to form an identity outside of Krajnak?s individual brilliance.

Some members of the team felt that, at times, players played tentatively and scared. SRRHS? inconsistency could be measured as a symptom of both a lack of identity and hesitancy.

Krajnak vows that he and his teammates will work together in the offseason. The Scorpions will lose one senior, Alex Stefanovich, to graduation next year.

The rest of the squad, should they return, will remain intact.

?We got a young team. We are going to get together. Next year is our year,? Michael Krajnak said.


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