Lady Longhorn basketball coach Jerry Daniels will be scouring the PHS campus this spring looking for athletes to replace the three seniors who will graduate with the class of 1999.
Daniels prefers to round up potential players early so the fledglings have the opportunity to participate in summer tournaments, practices and camps.
For prospects, he might not have to look much further than the PHS jayvee team of last season.
Under the tutelage of Krystal Garvin and Ellie Hardt, the Horn junior varsity ran out to a commendable 15-5 record with a roster that included two sophomores and nine freshmen.
"We were a very young team," Garvin said.
The team's success was even more impressive in the Central Division where it finished 12-2, losing heartbreakers only to Globe, 51-49, and Coolidge, 54-48.
One of the most promising athletes on the roster was freshman Mackenzie Herrera who worked inside for many of her points and rebounds.
Late in the season, she was most effective scoring 20 in the season-ending loss to Coolidge. Only days earlier, she paced the Lady Horns to a win over Santa Cruz with a team-high 16 points.
Herrera was the lead scorer in many games, but it was a well-balanced offensive attack that was the foundation of the Horns' success.
At least eight of the players on the 10-person roster often broke into the scoring column. Garvin and Hardt's coaching philosophy was to shuffle players in and out of the lineup, giving playing time to all so the athletes would have the opportunity to prepare for varsity play.
Freshman LeeAnn Owens was a big contributor both offensively and defensively with her hustle style of play. Seeing her scrap for loose balls from the seat of her pants, she might have earned the nickname "bam-bam."
Teammate Ashley Grubbs was another strong player, using all 5-foot, 8-inches to good advantage under the basket.
Freshman April Cheek's athleticism -- which led her to earn a varsity letter in soccer -- was another big factor in the Lady Horns' winning ways.
With talented Samantha Ellsworth, Sara Siverson, Tracy Connolly, Missy Hill, Michelle Closs and RaeAnn Burba also in the lineup, the Horn jayvees owned a potent group that could play on even terms with most any team in the conference.
The young crew -- along with two freshmen varsity-letter-winners, Brandi Waugh and Jennifer Plumb -- give the girls' program a kiddy corps that should keep the varsity team well-heeled in talent for years to come.