The Sedona Red Rock High School girls basketball team handled the Northland Preparatory Academy Spartans 63-14 on Tuesday, Jan. 30. After the game, five seniors were recognized for their contributions to the program: Guard Chenoa Crans, guard Liza Westervelt, guard Jo Toscano, forward Brittany Medel and forward Katia Rodriguez.
It is the largest group that third-year head coach Dave Moncibaez is departing with.
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“I always miss my seniors leaving because I always wish they have one more year with me. This group of seniors is the biggest group to leave me and the one I’ve had for three years so I’m really attached to them,” Moncibaez said. “It’s always a sad moment as a coach seeing these girls leave but at the same time it’s always nice to see when they come back during the holiday breaks and that close bond that we’ve always had and that family atmosphere that we try to instill with these girls.
“It’s always hard to say goodbye, but they move on to the next chapter in their lives and the gym is open for them if they want to come back. It’s hard to see them go but I know it’s part of that cycle.”
This group in particular leaves a mark on the Red Rock girls basketball program. The past two seasons it has reached consecutive state Final Fours and is now on its way to sealing a third consecutive region championship with the state tournament coming in 14 days.
“They’re a special group of girls. They’re definitely very talented, best in the state in my eyes and they’ve come out and they just have that will to win and do whatever it takes to be successful, so that’s a special group that just knows basketball,” Moncibaez said. “[It’s] the basketball IQ and humor on and off the court and their passion for the game and the love for one another. It’s definitely a special group and they definitely know how to play well together because they’ve been playing since they were little kids.”
Red Rock, which has been ranked No. 3 in the Conference 2A rankings all season, played at Phoenix Christian High School on Wednesday, Jan. 31, winning 56-42.
Its week is not yet over; it finishes the regular season portion of Central Region play at 5:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 2, at Glendale Preparatory Academy.
The five-game-in-six-day stretch ends with a matchup against 3A’s No. 3 team, Page High School, at 2:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 3. Page, last year’s 3A state runner-up, was the only team to beat the Scorpions in the regular season last year.
After that, unlike last season, there is a region tournament next week. Just like the boys team, the girls are set to open play at home on Wednesday, Feb. 7, but a time and opponent are to be determined, according to azpreps365.com.