SEDONA- It was everything a rivalry is made of, two intense crowds, big plays, and a game that came down to the final moments. After trading leads through the first three quarters, it was the Sedona Red Rock Scorpions who pulled away in the end beating the Cowboys 60-55 Thursday night. Senior point guard Jarvis Perez led the Cowboys with 28 points but the Cowboys couldn't put together a solid comeback late.
It was the Cowboys who jumped out of the gates first though as they ended the first quarter with an eight-point lead. Senior forward Jaysen Leonard got the scoring started for the Cowboys when he went strong to the hoop and got fouled for an and-one layup. Perez did the same thing two minutes later, followed by senior forward Ryan Cain. Cain missed his free throw attempt, but Leonard was ready and waiting for the rebound and the easy put back to give the Cowboys a 10-point lead.
The Scorpions came storming back in the second quarter, as they took a one-point lead into halftime. The Cowboys kept it close though, and had a little run of their own in the second quarter. After a Ryan Loza stepped in to take a charge for the Cowboys, they quickly jumped on the Scorpions taking a 38-35 lead. The Cowboys extended that lead when Javi Perez took the ball coast-to-coast for an easy lay-up and a 42-39 lead.
The fourth quarter was a different story for the two teams though. At the 6:46 mark, the Scorpions hit a lay-up to close the Cowboys lead to one. After three straight Camp Verde misses the Scorpios threated and at the 4:04 mark they took a 51-48 lead. A Reyes Herrera free throw cut it to two, but the Scorpions answered right back with another layup.
On the Cowboys next possession, Perez was fouled going to the basket for a lay-up and converted. He missed the free-throw but the lead was back to two. A Camp Verde foul sent the Scorpions to the line, and their lead was back up to three.
With two-minutes left in the game, the Scorpions increased their lead to five, but the Cowboys didn't go away. A pair of Scorpions free-throws, put it at 58-51. But Thomas Herrera answered right back with a quick lay-up to keep the lead at five.
The biggest moment of the game came when Javi Perez pulled up from a couple steps behind the three-point line and was fouled. Perez made two of three to cut the lead to 58-55, but the Scorpions drilled two more free throws at the line with 14-seconds remaining to seal the victory and improve to 7-6 on the season.
After three straight losses, the Cowboys now stand at 3-4 overall, as they dropped their first Division IV Section I match-up. The Cowboys will have off until after Christmas when they head to the Holiday Hoops Basketball Tournament at Phoenix Christian High School. They are set to face off with Arizona Charter, Horizon Honors on December 28 and Casa Grande on December 29. Camp Verde will get another shot at Sedona Red Rock in the new year as the Scorpions visit the Cowboys on January 8.