The Payson High School boys and girls basketball teams split East regional clashes with the Round Valley Elks Tuesday evening in Eagar/Springerville.
The boys hoop squad played its way to a 65-59 victory, but the Lady Horns dropped a 71-47 decision to the Elks.
The boys' victory improves their East record to 2-0. The Lady Horns fell to 1-1.
For the Lady Longhorns, the loss turned into too much firepower from a past Payson High School ally.
Whitney Hardt, who played point guard at PHS last season before her family moved to Round Valley, scored 15 points while engineering the Elk offense that has led RV to a 15-1 record this year.
After falling behind 17-10 in the first quarter and 36-25 at halftime, the Lady Horns could never muster the offense to overcome the Elk lead.
For the Lady Horns, Ashli Herrera led all scorers with 11 points. Krystal McRae, Autumn Herrera and Tanya Davis chipped in with nine each.
Following the game, coach Krystal Garvin cited Autumn Herrera for her leadership.
"She had a strong game. She handled the ball well against the press," Garvin said.
The coach also attributed the loss to "not playing very smart at times and turning the ball over."
In the foul-marred game which saw 61 free throws attempted, Payson finished 24 for 39 from the charity stripe.
In upcoming practices, the coach plans to improve the team' s overall play for the next time the two rivals clash.
"We'll make some adjustments and hope to make the next matchup a better one," she said.
A well-balanced scoring attack in which nine of the 11 players on the roster scored helped the Longhorns survive a spirited Round Valley effort.
"The people I know (in Eagar) said it was by far their best game," coach Mike Loutzenheiser said. "They would not quit."
While the Elks were turning in their best showing of the season, the Longhorns were only mediocre.
"We played average, just enough to win," Loutzenheiser said.
Team scoring leader Nick Cassuto once again paced the offense with 15 points. Senior point guard Derek Daniels turned in a solid floor game tallying eight points.
"Derek had a good game as did Nicky," Loutzenheiser said.
Waylon Pettet provided the Horns a legitimate outside threat sinking a trio of three-balls to finish with nine points.
Pettet returned to the lineup from knee surgery and a brief suspension from the team.
Jake Swartwood and Chris Donaldson contributed six each.