Sports Stories
srrhs bball01 1-26.jpgThe Sedona Red Rock High boys basketball team will be busy this summer participating in five league nights and four tournaments during summer basketball.
 By Brian Bergner Jr.
Larson Newspapers

The Sedona Red Rock High boys basketball team will be busy this summer participating in five league nights and four tournaments during summer basketball.

“What could be better than playing hoops with your teammates and traveling all over the state of Arizona?” Head Coach Bob Murphy said.

The Scorpions finished last season with a disappointing 12-15 overall record and were 6-6 in conference.

With summer, the boys get to put that behind them and begin their focus on a new season, hopefully a more successful one.

“I’m excited to play summer basketball,” Senior Mike Krajnak Jr. said.

The rigorous schedule could produce between 30 to 35 games during the month of June for the Scorpions.

“We’ve never done anything like this. Our team hasn’t had the opportunity to play this many games before during the summer,” Krajnak said.

The schedule produces many opportunities for the boys basketball team to improve.

Along with SRRHS, Chino Valley High, Mayer High, Flagstaff High, Camp Verde High and Mingus High will all be present on Tuesday nights in June, each team playing two games a night.

Murphy, named head coach last week, will use the summer to introduce his style of play.

“I think it is important to find out what players’ roles are going to be,” Murphy said.

He also believes relationships between players and coaches are built in the summer, he said.

“I want to get to know them, and they need to get to know me,” Murphy said.

The Scorpions will face a broad range of talented teams this summer.

They begin in Pine Top, where they will play at the Blue Ridge High tournament.

The Scorpions will likely face Payson High, runner-up in last year’s state championship game.

The next tournament won’t be too far, as the Scorpions travel to Flagstaff to participate in the Northern Arizona University team camp.

“I’m looking forward to playing up at NAU,” Murphy said.

After NAU, the Scorpions head south to Goodyear and play in the Estrella Foothills High tournament.

“It should be a good challenge for us,” Murphy said.

The Wolves will be favored to win the conference next season, as well as challenge for a state title.

To wrap up the summer, the Scorpions will travel to Tuba City, where they will play in the Greyhills Academy High tournament.

The Scorpions will see tough reservation basketball — a style of play the boys will see at the state tournament.

“It will be good for them to see what it’s like to play against teams like that,” Murphy said.

Top returnees for the Scorpions are Krajnak and juniors Steven Byrnes and Luke Dumyahn.

“Stephen [Byrnes] is going to play a very important role for us,” Murphy said.

“Luke [Dumyahn] and Mike [Krajnak] offensively are going to give teams a hard time,” he added.

Not only do the Scorpions have talent in the upper class, but the future of the ball club isn’t too far away.

Sophomores Ben Fazekas, Pedro Ortega, Thomas Wisbey, Kevin Cox and Zach Saxman all received a plethora of playing time at the junior varsity level as well as the varsity level.

“We have some exciting young players coming up in the ranks,” Murphy said.

The players will certainly have to learn what Murphy is all about, but it should be an easy transition.

“I’m looking forward to improving as a basketball team, and I’m excited to get to know coach Murphy,” Dumyahn said.

Murphy brings to the program a more up-tempo offense, looking to run every chance they get.

“We want to push it up the court and get more looks at the basket,” Murphy said.

“They should be exciting to watch. They are all very athletic,” he added.

Lastly, Murphy just wants the boys to enjoy themselves while they are playing the game of basketball, he said.

“Summer basketball is all about fun. It’s a hoot, and it’s fun to coach,” Murphy said.