Riding a school record 43 points from Stephanie Robertson, the Lady Longhorn express steamed its way back on the winning track Tuesday evening in Wilson dome with a 78-59 caging of the Globe Lady Tigers.
The victory came as a welcome relief for coach Jerry Daniels and his charges who were forced to suffer through the embarrassment of a 73-32 loss to Monument Valley three days earlier in Kayenta.
In the win over Globe, Robertson's 11 first-quarter points helped jump start the Lady Horns to an early 21-14 cushion. Robertson continued to heat up the nets as the score mounted enabling Payson to lift its all-important Central Division credentials to 2-1.
With the victory, Robertson's name will don the Horns record books for most points in a game, breaking the previous standard of 38 jointly held by Jamie Ashby and Colleen Hale.
In addition to praising the offensive contributions of Robertson, Daniels singled out senior Elizabeth Gille for her leadership at a new position.
"Elizabeth was moved to the point guard and took charge," he said. "She increased the pace of the game and made great decisions on the floor."
Also drawing plaudits from the coach were Sidney Swartwood, Kaitlain Wilkins and Jamie Peace.
"They all played well," Daniels said.
Swartwood finished with 14 points and Wilkins had three. Peace did not score but played a good all-around game at both ends of the floor, Daniels said.
Also contributing offensively to the win were sophomore Rheanna Martinez (6 points) and freshman Brandi Waugh (5).
The victory, Daniels said, represented "the best game of the season, the girls came together as a team."
If Globe coach Ed Hicks was looking for blame during the bus ride home, he needed to look no further than free throw shooting.
Game officials were charatible enough to award the Tigers 33 freebies but the team could only cash in on 11 attempts.
In the fourth quarter, Globe made only two of 22 free throws -- a mark that has to be one of the most futile ever recorded in high school girls basketball.
Tough times in Kayenta
In the loss to Monument Valley -- a traditional state power that plays a run-and-gun style -- the Horns were without the services of Martinez, who was sidelined with an injury.
However, even if she had been available it probably would not have made much difference as the Lady Horns couldn't recover from the rigors of the five-hour bus trip north to Kayenta.
Only Robertson was effective offensively finishing with 21 points. The next best Payson scorer, freshman Jennifer Plumb, had just five points. Swartwood tallied four.
At half-time, a glimmer of hope existed for the Lady Horns as they trailed only 38-28. But in the second half, the wheels came off the Longhorn wagon. MV outscored Payson 15-9 in the third quarter and 22-4 in the fourth stanza.
The team returns to Central Division action today, Friday, at 7 p.m. in Wilson dome against Fountain Hills. The varsity game will be preceded by a jayvee contest at 5:30 p.m.