Both Sedona Red Rock High School basketball teams picked up victories at Payson High School on Monday, Dec. 11, but they did not come easy.
The girls team won 49-38 after being down 10 points at halftime. Meanwhile, the boys won 51-41, but repeatedly allowed the Longhorns to stay close after taking sizeable leads on multiple occasions.
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In the girls game, the Longhorns had multiple players standing at 6-foot-1-inch who discouraged the Scorpions early on after swatting their first few shots. Then senior guard Liza Westervelt picked up three fouls by the end of the first quarter, and sophomore forward Mary Westervelt and sophomore Jacki King had three by halftime. All three had four fouls after three quarters.
The team is not used to playing from behind on the scoreboard either, so to have a comeback victory under its belt was a positive.
“It was definitely a gut check for us. To see them overcome that deficit at halftime, we got in foul trouble way too early and some of our best players sat out the whole second quarter,” head coach Dave Moncibaez said. “We started running like we should and we overcame the 10 points [deficit] at half and beat them by 11, so we look at that as a 21-point turnaround on our end and some of those games, they test you.”
For the boys, they led by Payson by 10 or 12 points three times. Then Payson would come back to make things close, and the pattern repeated.
“We played OK. I’m going to say that we should have won by a lot more,” Scorpions head coach Paul Bain said. “We did not play that well, so it is always good to win when you don’t play well.”
He said that the team played good team offense and defense at times, but not for the whole 32 minutes. Getting that to happen for the entire game remains the aim.
With a double-digit lead, Bain said the team has to continue playing at its best, because later in the season it will play much better teams.
Both teams next play on Friday, Dec. 15, at home against Joy Christian School. The girls play at 5:30 p.m. and the boys at 7 p.m.