Camp Verde boys hoops sinks Sedona to win ninth straight

Camp Verde junior C.J. Bast steals the ball during the Cowboys’ 68-52 win at Sedona Red Rock on Friday night. VVN/James Kelley

Camp Verde junior C.J. Bast steals the ball during the Cowboys’ 68-52 win at Sedona Red Rock on Friday night. VVN/James Kelley

SEDONA — Camp Verde High boys basketball held off a tougher Sedona Red Rock team on the road to win their ninth in a row.

The No. 8 Cowboys (19-2, 6-0 Central) beat the rivals 68-52 on Friday night. The win is also CV’s 15 in their last 16 games.

“Give a lot of credit to Sedona, they came ready to play (Friday) night and as is the case, anytime it’s Camp Verde/Sedona — it doesn’t matter what’s happening the rest of the season — both teams are ready to play,” CV head coach Daniel Wall said. “I mean they came out and shot the ball well, they defended well. They just made it difficult for us (Friday) night. So a lot of credit to Sedona.”

Although Camp Verde never trailed, the No. 40 Scorpions pulled to within one in the first quarter and tied it at 25-25 in the second quarter. The Cowboys led 23-19 after one quarter, 37-27 at the half and then 48-40 after the third quarter.

“I’m pretty excited going into the second part of our schedule,” CV junior shooting guard/small forward Abelardo Gonzalez said. “We’ve been working hard and it’s just nice to be out here with the group of guys we have.”

Although the Scorpions have lost 12 in a row and fell to the Cowboys 69-24 in Camp Verde in December, they stayed close or relatively close to CV the whole game.

“I think there’s been improvement there for sure,” Wall said. “They’re definitely a more competitive team since we saw them last. Yeah, I give them a lot of credit for that.”

CV junior shooting guard Jason Collier had 21 points and Gonzalez scored 17.

The Cowboys win over SRR in December snapped their seven game losing streak to their rivals and was their first over the Scorpions since 2015. The win on Friday meant that they swept the regular season series.

“Yeah it’s great,” Wall said. “I told the guys ‘there’s not every day that you get an opportunity to go beat Sedona two times’ and they were pretty excited about it (Friday). It really, really was a good thing for us.”

It’s the first time the Cowboys have swept the regular season series against the Scorpions since the 2014-15 season.

“It’s cool, the last few years we’ve been losing to them so it’s nice,” Gonzalez said.

In addition to their win streak, the Cowboys are 11-1 in regular season games and 6-0 in 2A games.

“It’s pretty cool, you kinda get distracted at times, but you always have to focus that it’s nothing to what’s coming for us at State,” Gonzalez said. “State’s gonna be a lot harder than all this.”

On Jan. 12 they beat Scottsdale Prep 60-41 on the road.

“We played pretty well,” Wall said. “We won by 19, competed really hard, defended pretty well, shot it pretty well. I was pleased with the Scottsdale Prep game overall.”

The Cowboys’ next game is Tuesday at No. 33 North Pointe Prep. Their next home game is Saturday against No. 39 Valley Lutheran at 6 p.m.

As of press time the Cowboys are two games ahead of second place Scottsdale Prep in the region standings but Wall warned that they have six games left.

“There’s a lot of competitive teams and every single night you come out there’s a different challenge presented that you need to prepare for,” Wall said. “And so we still got what, six region games left, so anything can happen those last six games but I think our boys will come ready to go and respond and we’ll see what happens.”

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