After a win-or-go-home 53-51 victory at Trivium Preparatory Academy on Saturday, Feb. 11, the Sedona Red Rock High School boys basketball team qualified for the 2017 Arizona Interscholastic Association 2A State Championship.
The Scorpions [20-9, 5-3 2A Central] earned the No. 13 seed in the state tournament, drawing No. 4 seed Scottsdale Christian Academy in the first round, to be played at 6 p.m. Friday, Feb. 17 at Yavapai College.
“If we come out strongly, we can upset them,” Red Rock head coach Kirk Westervelt said. “I look forward to it, it should be a good matchup.”
Looking at how the two teams match up, Scottsdale Christian does their damage with offensive rebounds. If the Scorpions struggle to control the boards, they will struggle to compete with the Eagles.
Red Rock’s key rebounder all season has been 6-foot 5-inch senior forward Dawson Stevenson, the team’s
X-factor, according to Westervelt. But due to injury he did not play in the team’s 53-48 win at Page High School on Feb. 4 and only played half of the Trivium Prep game.
He did not practice on Monday and Tuesday, Feb. 13 and 14, either.
Westervelt said that if the Scorpions can win the rebound and turnover battle, it will be a competitive game.
“They’re not world beaters,” Westervelt said. “But they’re very fundamentally sound.”
The Eagles have two key players in 6-foot, 8-inch sophomore forward Ethan Spry and sophomore guard Reed Myers.
They come into the tournament with a 16-8 overall record and 10-0 in the Metro West Region, and share two common opponents with Red Rock: Joy Christian School and Phoenix Christian High School. Both Scottsdale Christian and Red Rock won all of their matchups against the two teams.
Scottsdale Christian comes in riding a five-game win streak, its last loss coming on Jan. 21 against Gilbert Christian High School. The Scorpions have won four of their last five, the loss coming on senior night against Glendale Preparatory Academy on Feb. 3.
Last season, the Eagles won the Division III title.
“In Arizona they have been the gold standard,” Westervelt said. “They’re unselfish, they share the ball on offense and they’re hard nosed on defense.”
To get live updates of the game, follow the Sedona Red Rock News sports section’s Snapchat at rrnewssports.