Losing three key pieces that helped runs to Conference 2A championship semifinals the last two seasons does not change much for the 2017-18 season.

Not for Sedona Red Rock High School girls basketball coach Dave Moncibaez. And not when the Scorpions return senior guard Liza Westervelt, last year’s Central Region Player of the Year, and three other vital pieces from those deep playoff runs: Senior guard Jo Toscano, senior forward Brittany Medel and sophomore guard/forward Mary Westervelt.

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.

With less than two weeks of practice under its belt, the Sedona Red Rock High School boys basketball team has a long road ahead to arrive where first-year head coach Paul Bain wants.

Only 11 players are in the program, with seven expected to get varsity minutes. But it does return a core of seniors with one thing that cannot be coached: Talent.

Verde Valley High Performance swimmers enjoyed another successful outing at the Harvest Splash meet at Moon Valley Country Club on Nov. 4 and 5.

Carlos Lattanzi is now the No. 1-ranked swimmer in Arizona for all breaststroke events in his age group, 12- to 13-year-old boys. Lattanzi won all five of his events while 12-year-old Renae Porteous was top two in her six swims, and 11-year-old Sarina McCullough was top three in five events.

On paper, Sedona Red Rock High School’s girls soccer team looks the same as it did during the 2016 season: Young and small — in numbers as well as in stature.

But greater cohesion is what should make the difference.