The winter sports season kicked off for Sedona Red Rock Junior High School as the boys and girls basketball teams played against a tough Beaver Creek School on Tuesday, Nov. 14.
The boys team lost 49-23 while the girls lost 31-21.
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“We have two returning from last year but after that everybody’s new. So right now step No. 1 is to learn our offense and defense,” boys head coach Pedro Ortega said. “Once we get there we can execute a little better. They’re pretty strong this year. If you ask me, they’re supposed to be the team [to beat] this year.”
The boys team hosted the Bobcats, who were strong in transition against an almost completely new Scorpions squad.
Beaver Creek was up 22-5 after the first quarter and never looked back. It was proficient in all areas of the floor: Dribbling, ball movement, rebounding, shooting and forcing turnovers.
On the other hand, the Red Rock team has practiced for about a week and a half, and is still learning fundamentals as well as offense and defense.
“We have to implement the system and get them to understand what we’re trying to accomplish and I think we’re going to go slow, but I think we should be ready by tournament time,” Ortega said.
On Wednesday, Nov. 15, the boys traveled to Cottonwood to take on St. Joseph’s Catholic School, losing 25-18.
Ortega said that his team ran its offense better and in the second half had more intensity on defense. But in the first half it turned the ball over 15 times, which also happened against Beaver Creek.
There are 21 total girls in the program this year. Many are just learning the game, and the idea first-year coach Kirk Westervelt and his assistant and wife Liz Westervelt have is to teach the fundamentals and inspire them to continue playing.
“Basically what we’re trying to do is get the program started at that younger level and keep them interested into high school,” Kirk Westervelt said. “Get their fundamentals early so when they get to high school you don’t have to reinvent the wheel .... The main thing is that these kids have fun but they need to work hard and know that good things happen when they put in the time.”
For the most part, the team is starting from the bottom. Only a few experienced players from previous year are on the team.
It did beat St. Joseph’s 32-11 on Wednesday, Nov. 15.