By Francie Payne –
The top ranked Holbrook Roadrunners scored just 29 seconds into their first round state tournament game with Sedona Red Rock Monday night and never relinquished that lead, eventually earning a 74-42 victory.
The teams played fairly evenly in the first quarter, though Holbrook held a 17-13 edge.
The hosting Roadrunners finally began their charge with just 3:21 left in the half as an inbounds toss from Rashaun Baldwin, who was standing under the Scorpion basket, went from line to line to Blake Maestas, who made an easy two points as he stood by himself under the Holbrook basket. That brought the score to 30-22 and the Roadrunners were on a roll.
Torrian Epps followed with a three-pointer and Dakota Lester added two treys of his own to pump up the score to 39-22 with just under two minutes until the halftime buzzer. When it finally sounded, the Birds held a commanding 45-26 lead.
Holbrook’s hot hands continued in the third as the Roadrunners racked up 25 points while holding Sedona to 15. Kory Koerperich found the mark from distance, scoring two treys, while Epps and Jalen Jackson also shot three-pointers.
Content with their margin, the Birds stalled much of the fourth and played stellar defense when Sedona had the ball. The end result was a 4-1 quarter that brought the final tally to 74-42.
Jackson led Holbrook’s offense with 15 points, followed by Epps with 14, Lester and Ilacian Johnson, 8 each, Maestas, 7, Koerperich and Ryan Baldonado, 6 each, Baldwin, 4, and Hector Yazzie, Bryson Keoni and Joey Aguilera, 2 each.
Martin Galvez was Sedona’s top scorer with 10, followed by Troy Loparco and J.R. Henry with 8 each, Bradley Cox, 6, Ashor Samano, 5, Chris Oestmann, 4, and Blake Barker, 1.
Sedona 13 13 15 1 42
Holbrook 17 28 25 4 74
The win moved No. 1 Holbrook into a second round showdown with No. 8 Snowflake Tuesday evening in Prescott Valley. Sedona exited the tourney.