Boys, Girls Thump Blue Ridge

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The Blue Ridge Yellow Jackets know the feeling of a good old-fashioned rear end kicking after being on the receiving end of a pair of thumpings Feb. 4 in Lakeside.

First-year coach Krystal Garvin's Lady Longhorns proved which was the better team, outplaying the Jackets 59-48. The win was accomplished without the services of sophomore guard Tanya Davis, who sprained her ankle at the previous day's practice session. Davis is expected to return to play next week.

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Longhorn Jake Swartwood (shown here in a recent game against Round Valley) was slowed by an illness during Payson's Feb. 4 victory over the Blue Ridge Yellow Jackets in Lakeside. Swartwood is expected to return to full form in time for the regional tournament which begins Tuesday, Feb. 11.

In the Lady Longhorns victory, senior forward/center Trista Carlton turned in one of the most productive games of her varsity career. Of her game-high 26 points, 20 were scored in the crucial second half when the Lady Horns were trying to build a cushion. At halftime, Payson led only 25-20, but outscored Blue Ridge 34-28 in the second half. Ashli Herrera contributed 12 points and sophomore point guard Haylee Huff had six.

In the game, Payson was buoyed by the return of junior guard Amy Wilcox who had been sidelined all season with severe asthma.

Horn rally

The PHS boys team roared back from a three-point halftime deficit to sting the Jackets 49-38.

Blue Ridge's 28-25 halftime lead over Payson could be attributed to the shooting of Nick Irigoyen. Scoring 16 points in the first half, he was a one-man offensive show. Of his points, 12 were scored on three-pointers.

"I don't know who that guy was," Payson's Jake Swartwood said. "I've never seen him before, but he could shoot."

In the second half, coach Mike Loutzenheiser had Chris Donaldson play Irigoyen man-on-man. With help from his teammates, Donaldson held Irigoyen scoreless.

With their top gun firing blanks, Blue Ridge scored only 12 points in the final two quarters.

Derek Daniels paced the Horns with 15 points, six of which came on three-pointers. Mike Barr contributed 12 and Nick Cassuto had eight.

Swartwood, a senior forward, did not start and played only limited minutes due to illness. At midweek, Swartwood said he expected to be fully recovered for tonight's (Friday) season-ending game against Show Low in Wilson Dome. Tip-off is 7:30 p.m.

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