Sports Stories

One of the keys to success for any team is consistency, but at the same time it must progress and add components to its game.

The Sedona Red Rock High School girls basketball team did both things in another solid outing, making the season sweep of Verde Valley rival Camp Verde High School with a 63-28 home win on Friday, Jan. 27.

REd Rock junior guard Chenoa Crans drives to the hoop for a layup while Camp Verde High School senior forward Kayla Hackett reaches in to challenge during the second Verde Valley rivalry game of the season on Friday, Jan. 27. The Scorpions continued their undefeated run with a 63-28 win.
“I was definitely nervous going in because it is the last time I’m ever going to play Camp Verde,” Scorpions senior forward Sophia Perry said. “But it was really exciting, it feels good to win like that.”

The Scorpions [24-0 8-0 2A Central] used a big second-quarter performance to put the game away by halftime, as they consistently do, at 37-13.

“We were causing turnovers, which gives us a little bit more pep in our step,” head coach Dave Moncibaez said. “And we were running the floor 100 percent better than what we were in the first quarter, and that was the difference.”

As Moncibaez alluded to, the first quarter saw Red Rock up 8-0 early on, but allowed an 8-4 Cowboy run to finish up just 12-8.

What stood out from past performances was that the Scorpions did not score in bunches in transition. Moncibaez said that Cowboy head coach Mark Showers was changing up his defenses, and both teams were “trying to get a feel.”

A 12-0 scoring run, half scored off of turnovers, swelled the Scorpion lead at the start of the second.

“Finally we just kind of got into a good rhythm and capitalized on our offensive sets and got some good looks,” Moncibaez said.

But points in transition and off of turnovers were not the story of the game, as they usually are; the team showed efficiency in the halfcourt as well.

As the regular season winds down, Red Rock knows the importance of adding the ability to score in the halfcourt for games in which transition and turnover points will be at a premium. It is something in which it is still progressing.

“We’ve actually been practicing doing plays … we have to be able to score [both ways],” junior guard Liza Westervelt said.

Moncibaez highlighted Perry’s offensive play, saying that she did well to run the floor, get the ball down low and finish her shots. Perry noted that the team has also been working on more fluid scoring, without a set play, a challenge since the team had little experience doing it earlier in the season.

In the fourth quarter, Perry scored a three-point basket, a shot she does not normally attempt.

Coming out of the locker room, the Scorpions went back to their old, consistent ways with another 10-2 run. They led 56-20 after three quarters, and the Red Rock substitutes took the floor to round out the game.

But another consistency, its tendency to commit turnovers, remained as it totaled 25. Perry chalked them up to the nerves and anxiousness that revolve around another rivalry game.

Red Rock originally had four games scheduled for the week of Jan. 23 to Jan. 27, but inclement weather in the area forced two to be rescheduled. It is now in the middle of a five-games-in-seven-day stretch.

The Scorpions beat Division 3A Wickenburg High School 69-26 on Saturday, Jan. 28, and section foe Mingus Mountain Academy 56-10 on Monday, Jan. 30.

They continued section play at Northland Preparatory Academy on Tuesday, Jan. 31, winning 57-16 to improve to 25-0 overall and 9-0 in the 2A Central Section.

They play at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 1, against nonleague Phoenix Christian Academy, and then host senior night at 5:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 3 against Glendale Preparatory Academy.

Red Rock finishes the regular season at 2 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 4 at Division 3A Page High School.


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