Holiday Hoops Heats Up Hardwood

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Rim country hoops fans are in for a big treat Friday and Saturday when the Holiday Hoops tournament is contested in Wilson Dome, the old PHS gymnasium and the Tonto Apache gym.

Some of the best 4A and 5A teams in the state are expected to join Payson in the tournament. Also entered are the reservation-area teams which bring a style of play that is fun to watch.

Under first-year coach Krystal Garvin, the Lady Longhorns also will take a fast-paced style of play to the tournament. The coach has her players performing at a fevered pitch and you can bet they'll provide nonstop action for spectators.

Action tips off at 10 a.m. Friday when Payson takes on Tucson Canyon del Or in Wilson Dome. Games continue until 7 p.m.

Action is slated to resume Saturday at 8:30 a.m. and continue until the championship is decided at 7 p.m. in the dome.

Admission each day is $3 for students and $4 for adults.

Soccer accepts 4A conference

Payson High School's plea to remain in the 1A-3A fall soccer league has been denied. That means the PHS soccer teams will be moving to the Class 4A Grand Canyon region along with all the other sports teams at the school.

As a member of the 4A conference, Payson will conduct its soccer program during the winter months along with the sports of wrestling and basketball.

PHS asked permission to remain 1A-3A so the school could continue to play in the fall. Athletic Director Dave Bradley reasoned that in the Rim country, the fall weather is much more conducive to outdoor sports like soccer.

With the move to the winter season, a handful of athletes will have to make the decision whether to play soccer, basketball or wrestling.

Lady Longhorn soccer coach Randy Wilcox has said that he has several athletes who must make that choice.

Bradley estimates that about 10 to 12 two-sport athletes be faced with deciding between soccer or basketball and wrestling.

Nice job

Kudos to tournament director Don Heizer and PHS wrestling coaches Dave LaMotte and Doug Eckhardt for conducting a first-class tournament last weekend.

The Rim Country Duals attracted 12 teams to Payson for a two-day competition. Coaches, parents and wrestlers all agreed that the tournament was well run and a tribute to the school and community.

With the duals at an end, the coaches are busy preparing for the next Rim country mat showdown -- the Tim Van Horn Memorial Tournament, Jan. 17 and 18. Mark it on your calender, it promises to provide all the sports excitement of the Rim Duals.

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