Holiday hoops: Cowboys, Scorpions prevail in tourney<br>

Call it a case of the strong getting stronger.

The heavily favored Camp Verde girls and contending Sedona boys took top honors in last weekend's basketball tourney in Camp Verde.

The Cowboys have racked up lopsided wins all month en route to an 11-1 post-tournament record. The Scorpions meanwhile, made full use of their run-and-gun game, improving to 11-4 on the season.

"We were favored," said Camp Verde girls basketball coach Mark Showers about his team's crushing wins through the first two games. They defeated River Valley by a score of 52-24 on Friday and took apart Parker 66-27 the next morning. It wasn't until facing Fredonia in the final that the Camp Verde girls had any concerns.

"We though we were just going to walk through the tourney," Showers said. "But Fredonia gave us a hard time in the first half."

Down by seven points at the break, the Cowboys rallied in the second. "Our offense finally kicked in," Showers said. "In the first half, we couldn't score. My leading scorers couldn't hit the broad side of a barn, but we finally got hot."

The cowboys came back to win 45-39.

Putting up big numbers for the Cowboys were standouts Camille Fosset and Chantel Reimer, whose efforts earned them spots on the all-tournament team. Fosset, a senior point guard, had 15 points in the final game.

Reimer was the leading rebounder, and sophomore small forward Amy Showers lead the team with 40 points through the three-game homestand.

"It was a fun tourney—kind of woke us back up after being off for a week," the coach said.

Camp Verde faces Higley next Tuesday at home, then travels to Chino Valley that Friday.

"We're going to step right into the main part of our schedule next week," Showers said.

Sedona Boys

The Sedona Red Rock boys didn't have a cakewalk through their early rounds, besting 4-A hoops team Bradshaw Mountain by the score of 62-50 in the Friday opener.

"We were playing without our starting point guard," said coach Craig Williamson.

The Scorpions managed to lead through much of the game, and were up by as many as 20 points in the fourth quarter thanks to the efforts of Johnny Cunningham and Kevin Williamson.

Cunningham, a senior guard, led the team in scoring throughout the tourney. He and senior power forward Williamson were named to the all-tournament team.

Sedona had a tougher time with River Valley. The teams were knotted up at 40-40 at the half, but a Scorpions resurgence earned them a 77-66 win against the conference opponent.

Williamson's team owed the comeback to offensive confidence.

"Our shooting percentage improved from 42 percent to 67 percent," he said. "We ran the floor and made a lot of layups. We've been working very hard at converting our fast breaks."

The Scorpions edged out Monument Valley in the Saturday final, by the score of 68-64. "They're a major player in 3A basketball," Williamson said.

Once again standouts Cunningham and Williamson set the tone. Cunningham was 14 for 14 in free throws during the foul-filled second half. Senior Paul Freeman was also a major factor, earning 22 points and nine rebounds.

"He was just everywhere," said Williamson. "Steals, rebounds, blocked shots. Whenever we needed something, he was there."

The coach added, "They fouled the heck out of us. But we turned the tables on them. We just outplayed them. We ran and ran. And when we got tired, we just ran some more." The Scorpions next face four games on the road, starting with Wickenburg on Friday.

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