Coach Shaun Hardt's Lady Longhorn basketball players now know the road to the state championship travels through Tuba City.
After bowing to the Warriors 58-32 in the championship game of the Payson Holiday Hoops Tournament, the Lady Horns traveled to Warrior Pavilion Saturday only to drop another showdown to Tuba City.
This time out, however, the Lady Horns were much more competitive, losing only 54-43.
After being outscored 46-20 in the first three quarters, the Lady Horns ran roughshod over the Warriors 23-8 to close the final margin to 11 points.
The win pushes Tuba City's record to 15-2. With the loss, Payson falls to 11-3.
Scoring a game high 16 points, sophomore point guard Whitney Hardt led the Longhorn charge in Tuba City. Following the Holiday Hoops tournament loss to Tuba City, the coach predicted the Warriors and Winslow are the two teams his squad will have to find a way to beat if a state championship is on the Lady Horns horizon.
After opening the season Nov. 20 with a loss to Winslow, the Lady Horns will once again have an opportunity to challenge the tough Bulldogs today (Tuesday) in Wilson Dome. Tip off is 6 p.m.