Three-point baskets came aplenty at Sedona Red Rock High School on Saturday, Jan. 28, as the Cowboys hit nine from beyond the arc in a 65-45 rout over the rival Scorpions this past weekend.
Although the rivalry didn’t have the flare of last year’s two contests, which saw both gymnasiums filled to the brim and each game coming down to the wire as they were decided by six points or fewer, the Camp Verde High School boys basketball team proved Saturday it was the better team.
“When you have multiple guys that can score and shoot, it’s good. In high school basketball you look at the open shots you get and if you can make them, and we did that against Sedona,” Camp Verde Head Coach Darren Gagnon said.
Camp Verde jumped out to a 23-10 lead after the first quarter of play and never looked back in the 65-45 thumping over the Scorpions.
The Cowboys not only did it on the offensive end Saturday, but the defensive end as well, holding the Scorpions to 33 percent shooting [16 of 49] on the afternoon.
With the win, Camp Verde improves to 14-11 overall this season and is 10-5 in Arizona Interscholastic Association power point play. The Cowboys are ranked No. 26 in Division III and are No. 7 in Section III [Division III]. The top eight seeds participate in the Section III Tournament in February.
As for Sedona, the Scorpions drop their record to 7-19 overall this season.
Senior Jake Spleiss led the Cowboys with 18 points, 12 rebounds and three steals, but it was the nine three-point baskets from Camp Verde that really separated the two teams.
“He’s a strong kid; he’s tough to stop. With three shooters and with Jake [Spleiss] in the post, we are a tough team to beat,” Gagnon said.
Senior Brian Hudson converted four three-point plays for 17 points, four rebounds and four assists, and fellow senior Johnny Hudson had two three-pointers of his own for a total of 10 points, two assists and two steals.
“We played really hard and having Johnny [Hudson] back in our lineup was huge,” Spleiss said. “We just have to handle the ball better and take better shot selection in transition, but when four guys score in double figures it really helps get the win.”
Hudson missed the Bradshaw Mountain High School game on Friday, Jan. 27, due to a bad back, but he returned Saturday against the Scorpions.
“It’s been getting worse and worse. He thinks maybe it’s a combination of weight lifting and playing. He’s been to the doctor and it’s just one of those things — when you get a back injury, you can’t screw around with it,” Gagnon said.
Junior Jacob Lewis was in the mix as well, scoring nine of his 13 points in the second quarter, all of which came from behind the arc. Lewis was a big reason the Cowboys led 42-18 at halftime at Sedona, which celebrated its seniors Saturday. Lewis had 10 rebounds and three assists as well in the victory.
“He’s a tougher kid to defend. He’s a bigger kid so there’s a bigger guy on him sometimes, and that gives us a different dynamic,” Gagnon said.
In the second half, Sedona outscored the Cowboys 27-23 but the damage had been done.
The Cowboys were in action again Tuesday, Jan. 31, at Coconino High School. Results were unavailable at press time.
Next up, Camp Verde is scheduled to host Orme High School on Wednesday, Feb. 1. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m.
Camp Verde will host Sedona on Friday, Feb. 3, in the regular season finale for senior night. Tipoff against the Scorpions is set for 7 p.m.