After almost finishing the regular season without a loss, the Sedona Red Rock High School girls basketball team must go undefeated in four games to win the 2017 Arizona Interscholastic Association 2A State Championship.
The Scorpions [27-1, 10-0 2A Central] were seeded No. 6 in the tournament, and will face off with No. 11 San Carlos High School in the first round at 3 p.m. Friday, Feb. 17, at the Prescott Valley Event Center.
Red Rock’s sole loss of the season came in its final regular season game at Division 3A Page High School, losing 51-31 to the Sand Devils, the No. 2 seed in the 3A tournament.
The Scorpions finished the season with a 913 point differential in favor. They doubled the amount of points scored versus the amount given up, and beat their opponents by an average of 35 points overall.
While the numbers are impressive, it is an indicator of the strength, or lack thereof, of Red Rock’s schedule, which is a factor in the AIA’s method of seeding teams for the tournament.
“We pretty much had a weaker strength of schedule,” Scorpions head coach Dave Moncibaez said. “The Page game affected us more than I thought it would.”
Evaluating the matchup between the two teams, the Braves have good perimeter shooters, but Red Rock will look to exploit its size advantage with senior forwards Sophia Perry and Hannah Ringel.
For the Scorpions, taking the first round will be a matter of handling the basics.
“If we box out and take care of the ball and are fundamentally tougher then we should be OK,” Moncibaez said.
In the loss to the Sand Devils, Red Rock got into foul trouble early on.
“We touched on some adjustments, making sure everyone is on the same page so we can ride out the foul trouble,” Moncibaez said.
At practice the team has stuck to working on its defensive sets, but in a more fun rather than competitive atmosphere in order to keep its spirits high and its legs well rested.
The Braves enter the tournament with a 17-9 overall record and 10-0 in the South Region. They and the Scorpions share one common opponent: 2A rival Phoenix Christian High School.
On Dec. 28 San Carlos beat it by a 74-28 margin while Red Rock won 78-27 on Feb. 1.
With the win, Red Rock would play against either No. 14 Many Farms High School or No. 3 Scottsdale Christian at 3 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 18 at the Prescott Valley Event Center.
For live updates of the game, follow the Sedona Red Rock News sports section’s Snapchat at rrnewssports.
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