Lady Longhorn basketball players can take solace in the fact it took the best basketball team in Arizona's Class 3A ranks to eliminate them from the state tournament.
In a state quarterfinal game contested Feb. 17 in the Northern Arizona University Skydome, Monument Valley rode a third quarter 27-9 scoring advantage to a 77-59 victory over the Lady Horns.
The loss ended Payson's hopes of advancing to the final four and playing in the lavish Phoenix Suns' America West Arena.
Monument Valley went on to capture its first state crown with a 46-37 win over Winslow Saturday evening in America West.
MV finished with a 21-10 record, including a pair of wins over the Lady Horns. The first of the triumphs occurred Jan. 2 in Monument Valley.
In edging Payson on both occasions, the Mustangs relied on the scoring of Billie Gransen, Miranda Todachine and Lorena Sullivan.
The same trio shouldered the scoring load in the championship win over Winslow. Todachine had 12 points, Gransen 10 and Sullivan 10.