Wintry weather postponed a match up between the Sedona Red Rock and Payson boys basketball teams earlier this week. When the teams finally met up Wednesday, the results probably had the Scorpions wishing a blizzard had rolled through Northern Arizona.
The Longhorns dismantled the Scorpions, 64-45 -- proving there was no leftover despondency after last weekend's disappointing tournament results.
Coach Kenny Hayes said team defense was key in the victory.
"We played very well defensively and completely shut down their offense," he said. "Their best player, Michael Krajnak, was held in check."
Krajnak finished with 14 points, six below his season average, as the Horns held the Scorpions to 18 points in the first half.
Hayes lauded the offensive prowess of seniors Levi Neal and Robert Walker, saying they both "shot well from the outside." Neal tallied 10 points and Walker contributed 13 for the Horns.
Hayes said the Horns improved on their offense, something they struggled with playing shorthanded in two of their last three games.
"We executed our zone offense better throughout the game," he said.
The Scorpions' defense was picked apart by junior Matt Wilson and senior Oliver Lewinson, Hayes said.
"(Wilson) and (Lewinson) worked well together inside," he said.
Hayes said junior Cody York had a solid, all-around performance. York led the Horns in scoring with 16 points.
The 5-3 Horns will host the Holbrook Roadrunners (6-3 overall) next Friday in the only game scheduled between now and the Bradshaw Mountain Tournament, which begins Dec. 27. Games will be played at PHS at 4 p.m. for freshmen, 5:30 p.m. for JV and 7 p.m. for varsity.