For the second consecutive year, the Sedona Red Rock High School girls basketball team claimed the Central Region championship after beating Camp Verde High School 51-31 on Friday, Feb. 9.
It is the team’s third straight region championship after winning the Divison IV, Section I title, in the 2015-16 season.
Red Rock [17-0, 10-0 Central Region] swept the season series from the Cowboys [16-3, 8-1] for a second straight year as well. According to Scorpions third-year head coach Dave Moncibaez, the final scoreline of the region tournament championship game was a bit deceiving.
“This was probably our second-best [game against Camp Verde],” Moncibaez said. “It felt like we barely beat them, it was one of those games. We got in foul trouble again, and we missed a ton of layups. We weren’t finishing like we do, and that keeps other teams in it.”
The win cemented a third consecutive undefeated region campaign as well; the team went 7-0 en route to the section title in 2015-16. Unlike last year, though, on top of the 10-game, head-to-head schedule there was a region tournament.
Against the Cowboys, the Scorpions were up just four, 20-16, at halftime. It was in the second half that their run-and-gun style began to take over.
Foul trouble, especially against the Verde Valley rival, was problematic once again. But a few three-pointers and a second-half scoring run forced a Camp Verde timeout. Normally sophomore forward Mary Westervelt has played down low, but Moncibaez elected to switch her with sophomore forward Jacki King. It was a move to get Westervelt’s shot going as the team heads into the state tournament.
“Camp Verde played us tough, eventually we starting running away,” Moncibaez said. “We got some of those quick hits and we played our game and pulled away.”
In the semifinals on Wednesday, Feb. 7, the Scorpions beat the fourth place finisher in Glendale Preparatory Academy 51-34. They finished the regular season undefeated in power-point games after beating the No. 3 team from 3A, Page High School, 55-53 on Feb. 3.
The win against Page lifted the team to the No. 1 seeding in the Arizona Interscholastic Association 2A State Championship.
Boys Take Second
The Red Rock boys team [13-3, 6-2 Central Region] finished second in the region after falling to Paradise Honors High School, the No. 2 seed in the state tournament, 75-48 in the region tournament championship on Feb. 9. The Scorpions beat Camp Verde 70-49 in the semifinals on Feb. 7.
The boys lost all three matchups with the Panthers [18-0, 8-0] this season. Red Rock takes the No. 7 seed into the state tournament, setting up a potential fourth showdown against the Panthers in the quarterfinals.
The No. 1 seeded Red Rock girls open play at 3 p.m. Friday, Feb. 16, at Yavapai College against an opponent yet to be determined. The boys will play at 6 p.m. the same day at Yavapai College, also against an undetermined opponent.
A detailed bracket will be in the Friday, Feb. 16, edition of the Sedona Red Rock News.