After a close first round win on Friday, Feb. 17, the No. 6 seed Sedona Red Rock High School girls basketball team bounced back for a 47-29 quarterfinal victory over No. 14 Many Farms High School at the 2017 Arizona Interscholastic Association 2A State Championship on Saturday, Feb. 18.
The Scorpions [30-1, 10-0 2A Central] led just 10-4 after the first quarter, but used another strong defensive effort in the second quarter to blow open the game.
“Defensively we were on our game tonight, we were closing out on their shooters, we were rotating and shifting really well,” Scorpions head coach Dave Moncibaez said. “It looked so good at times that we looked like we were man-to-man, it was very disguised today.”
In the win over San Carlos High School the previous day, Red Rock went up 33-12 at halftime after shutting out the Braves 18-0 in the second quarter. Foul trouble and turnovers made things too close for comfort for the Red Rock faithful in the second half of that game.
In the quarterfinal, played at the Prescott Valley Event Center, the Scorpions won the second quarter 13-3 to go up 22-7 at halftime, but this time around maintained the same line of play in the second half to cruise to the victory.
Junior sixth man Jo Toscano did not take the floor in the first quarter, but hit the hardwood running in the second.
She scored seven of her game-high 14 points in the quarter, including a three-point play with 32 seconds left.
“I think I was actually confident in going hard to the basket,” Toscano said.
Red Rock got to a running start, converting the opening tip into two points. Junior guard Liza Westervelt followed with a three-pointer to go up 5-0 within the first 30 seconds.
Lobos sophomore guard Kahia Lamothe turned a turnover into two points to get Many Farms, who upset No. 3 Scottsdale Christian Academy in the first round, on the board.
Many Farms senior forward Stephanie Teller scored the other basket for the Lobos in the first, but also committed three fouls.
Lamothe nailed a triple to make the score 12-7 in the second, but four points in transition and Toscano’s seven propelled the Scorpions to their wide halftime lead.
The Lobos were uninterested in attempting much dribble penetration, passing the ball around the perimeter until putting up a shot. Many Farms shot one for 18 in the quarter.
When they did go inside, Perry shut the door with multiple blocks, including one on a three-point attempt.
“I was having an off day on offense, and so I really tried to make it up on defense, and I think it worked out pretty well,” Perry said.
Teller also picked up her fourth foul, putting her one away from sitting the bench and 16 minutes yet to play.
In the third quarter, junior guard Chenoa Crans buried a triple to cap an 8-0 run that ballooned the lead to 30-7.
Teller hit a three-pointer as well, but then fouled Ringel, ending her day with 4:06 left. She was never substituted from the game.
But the Lobos appeared to be inspired with the loss of their main ballhandler. Sophomore forward Tiarra Begay sank four shots from distance, but the game was already well out of hand.
“I think reflecting on yesterday, I think we really buckled down on defense and continued to run the court,” Perry said.
Westervelt scored six points in the fourth to lead Red Rock, and the Scorpions substitutes came on with 1:30 left to finish things out.
Red Rock’s semifinal against Leading Edge Academy is slated for 1:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 24, at the Prescott Valley Event Center. Get live updates by following the Sedona Red Rock News sports section’s Snapchat at rrnewssports.
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