It's crunch time for the Payson High basketball teams.
Both squads will be in action this week in East tournaments that will determine regional champions and seeding into state showdowns Feb. 19 in Flagstaff.
The boys team springs into East opening round action at 7:30 p.m. this evening (Tuesday) in Wilson Dome against Whiteriver.
A win over the Falcons will propel the Horns into regional second-round play Friday evening in Whiteriver against Blue Ridge. Tip off is at 7:30 p.m. A victory over Alchesay would also assure the Horns of at least a fourth-place seed into the state tournament.
A loss tonight, however, would eliminate the Horns from the tournament and put an end to their season. Payson enters the opening round as the East's fourth-place finisher with a 5-5 record. Alchesay (3-7) wrapped up the campaign in fifth place.
The Lady Horns (8-2 in the East) open the regional tournament with a first-round bye thanks to the team's second-place region finish.
The bye, which occurs today (Tuesday), also assures the Lady Horns of at least a fourth-place berth into the state tournament.
The Lady Horns open the regional tournament at 1 p.m. Friday against Alchesay in Whiteriver.
A triumph there would send the Lady Horns into the regional semifinals the following day against the winner of a first round tournament game between Round Valley and Show Low.
That game would also be played in Whiteriver.