Sports Stories

With only six games remaining in its regular season, the Sedona Red Rock High School girls basketball team is putting everything together.

It once again took advantage of a comfortable 59-27 win at Paradise Honors High School on Friday, Jan. 20, to work on different looks and polish details with the most important part of the season on the horizon.

Scorpions senior forward Sophia Perry drives toward the basket against Paradise Honors High School sophomore forward Jewel Matanane during the Scorpions’ 60-26 win on Tuesday, Jan. 3. Red Rock completed the season sweep with a 59-27 win at Paradise Honors on Friday, Jan. 20.
“They kind of seem like blowouts, but it’s good for us to see how the girls are working together in different looks,” head coach Dave Moncibaez said. “When you have control of the game it gives time for working on different things.”

The Scorpions [21-0, 6-0 2A Central] improved on their 57-29 win at Glendale Preparatory Academy on Jan. 17, where the team did not reach its level of expectation in terms of quality of play.

Moncibaez said that they showed much more energy from the opening tip against the Panthers, and jumped out to a 26-4 lead after the first quarter.

“Defensively we played a lot better, just on our rotations and jumping out of different zones and man-to-man,” Moncibaez said. “[In order] to get ready for teams right around the corner.”

In fact, the team plays four games in five days, from Tuesday, Jan. 24 to Saturday, Jan. 28, two of which are in 2A Central Section competition and all at home. Results from its game against Mingus Mountain Academy on Jan. 24 were not available at press time.

“I think next week will be good for us,” Moncibaez said. “How our legs are, how we recover from one game to another, and to keep going with a lot of energy.”

During the game at Paradise Honors, Moncibaez pointed out the play of senior forward Sophia Perry, a second team all-section player from a year ago.

He said that she was fundamentally improved, doing better with boxing out and securing rebounds as well as making good decisions with the ball.

Turnovers are a double-edged sword for the Scorpions; they force them out of their opponent to generate the majority of their points, but run into trouble when they begin to commit them as well.

They will end the regular season on Saturday, Feb. 4 at Division 3A Page High School, a game that Moncibaez wanted to schedule as a competitive tune-up before the postseason.

With each passing game, the elephant in the room grows bigger — that of an undefeated season. But Moncibaez says that while the girls are conscious of it, they do not look past any opponent.

“It’s definitely a possibility, and the girls know that,” Moncibaez said. “But we take it one game at a time because you never know what will happen.”

Against Paradise Honors, junior guard Liza Westervelt led the team with 16 points and junior guard Chenoa Crans had 11 as the two double-digit scorers.

At 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 25, the Scorpions host Phoenix Christian Academy in a nonleague game. At
5:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 27, they host a rematch with Verde Valley rival Camp Verde High School, and at 5:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 28 they host Division 3A Wickenburg High School.