For those of you making the journey to Camp Verde for the post-Christmas boys' basketball tournament, coach Randy Wilcox just received the final tournament schedule.
The Longhorns first game is slated for 3 p.m. Dec. 28 in the Camp Verde Middle School gymnasium. The opponent will be Maricopa. If Payson wins, the Horns play again the following day at 8 a.m., this time in the Camp Verde High School gymnasium against the winner of the opening round match, pitting Mayer against Palo Verde.
If the Horns drop the opener, they play a loser's bracket game at 9:30 a.m. Dec. 29 against the loser of the Mayer vs. Palo Verde contest.
The tournament championship -- which Wilcox says is the team's goal --will be played at 6 p.m. Dec. 29 at the high school.
Spotted on the back side of a player's T-shirt at the Holiday Hoops girls tournament earlier this week was a slogan that read, "Teamwork makes a dream work."
The concept of there is no "I" in "team" is nothing new in high school basketball. But it would be a novel idea in most professional basketball circles, where gifted athletes play mostly one-on-one and assists are as rare as an accurate financial statement from Fife Symington.
The purity of the game as envisioned by its founders is a thing of the past.
The Phoenix Suns picked up former Notre Dame coach John MacLoed and it will be interesting to see if he can do anything to bring the team aspect back into focus among the millionaire players.
During his 1970s tenure with the Suns, MacLoed was known for producing team-oriented squads that relied on passing and cutting offenses in which the ball was seldom dribbled.
A player standing around watching and not making every effort to free himself for a gimmie basket was benched.
Can his philosophy work in a day when offense means passing the ball to the big guy in the low post, then stand around and watch him back his way to the basket?
Only time will tell.
Home for the holidays
One of the real bright spots during annual Christmas break is the return of alumni to their hometown, where they mingle with old friends and tell of the trials and tribulation of college life.
Several PHS graduates were spotted the past week either at the Rim Country Duals or the Holiday Hoops girls basketball tournaments.
Among the visitors were Mike Barker, who now attends college at Emery Riddle in Prescott, and Mesa College student Blair River.
Barker says he's getting accustomed to college life, as is River, who played football last year for the Thunderbirds.
Marc Bennett also returned to Payson for the holidays. He's attending college in the Midwest on an athletic and academic scholarship.
Stephanie Robertson, a Northern Arizona University student-athlete, was in the stands Tuesday morning cheering on her former Lady Longhorn teammates in a 68-57 win over Arcadia.