New Leadership For Lady Horns Hoop Squad

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There's a new coach heading the program, but the winning ways of Longhorn girls' basketball continue.

Competing at last weekend's Apache Junction Girls Invitational summer tournament, Payson finished with a 2-1 record, losing only in the championship round to host AJ.

Those victorious ways first became a part of the program in the early 1980s under coach Tim Fruth and continued through the coaching tenures of Scott Adamson and Jerry Daniels.

Last season, Daniels resigned and the coaching position was given to Payson High alumnus Shaun Hardt.

In Apache Junction, Payson opened tournament play whipping Glendale Skyline 34-28 and Holbrook 36-30.

The win streak came to a halt in the 35-20 loss to Apache Junction a game the new coach labeled the most physical he had ever witnessed. "It was a brawl."

Payson's first two contests of the tournament were played in old AJ high school gymnasium which was not air conditioned.

The championship finale was contested in a new facility that was air cooled but fatigue caused by heat earlier in the day might have taken its toll on the local players, Hardt said.

Standouts

Following the team's return to Payson, the coach lauded the efforts of Jennifer Plumb for "emerging as a really good team leader."

Also, he cited Trista Carlton, Samantha Ellsworth and Brandi Waugh for exceptional play.

The team will continue to practice at 5 p.m. each Monday and Wednesday throughout the summer.

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