Sedona Red Rock High School’s girls basketball team cruised to a nonregion victory on Friday, Dec. 15, by a 60-25 scoreline when it hosted Joy Christian School.
The Scorpions [3-0 in power-point games] had the game well in had after the first quarter, holding a 30-0 lead.
Victory aside, Red Rock head coach Dave Moncibaez had other goals in mind.
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“In those games you try to be perfect, in regards to not turning the ball over, making bad passes,” Moncibaez said. “Being fundamentally sound, working on offensive sets against their defense.”
For the first string, the aim was just that, to clean up details on the offensive end during what was the final tune up before Central Region play begins at Paradise Honors High School on Jan. 2.
Unlike last year, the team will not participate in the Lady Badgers Winter Classic in Prescott over winter break, which it won beating four teams from Conference 4A. It opted out of playing to rest the players’ bodies before the twice-weekly region schedule begins after the new year.
The team’s run-and-gun style at times lends to precipitous offense during stretches when it could be run more patiently. Better defenses will come along, especially in the regular season finale against Page High School, last season’s Conference 3A runner up. The Sand Devils handed the Scorpions their lone loss of the 2016-17 regular season, 51-31.
Moncibaez felt that his starting five had found that patience, making five or six passes before looking for a shot.
But the contest was more important for the substitutes.
They will be called upon during some point in the season to play minutes when starters get into foul trouble, as they had during the 49-38 win at Payson High School on Monday, Dec. 11.
Senior guard Liza Westervelt, sophomore forward Mary Westervelt and sophomore forward Jacki King all had to sit the bench in the first half of that game due to foul trouble. At halftime the Scorpions trailed by 10.
It surely will not be the last time it happens, so contributions from the bench, especially defensively, will prove key.
“It’s what we need coming down to the end, if we’re in foul trouble, to fill that role until we get the first string back in,” Moncibaez said. “Getting them on the same page defensively is something we stress with the second string, especially since some of them are newer to basketball, teaching them fundamentals, being smart and playing aggressive.”
Four substitutes played with one starter for most of the rest of the game, and Moncibaez wanted to see them limit the Eagles’ scoring. They went up 40-10 at halftime and 56-17 after three quarters, ultimately surrendering 15 second-half points.