After a slow start in which the team's offense never clicked, the Longhorn boys rallied in the second half to run past Notre Dame, 66-51.
The hoop clash, played Monday night in Wilson dome, was the season-opener for both teams.
At the conclusion of a sloppy first half of play, the Longhorns held a precarious 26-25 lead.
"We played horrible," coach Mike Loutzenheiser.
In the third quarter, Cort Connolly's seven points jump-started the Horns to a 44-37 lead. With the Horn machinery finally hitting on all cylinders, Payson outscored Notre Dame 22-16 in the final quarter to finish with the 15-point victory.
If player of the game honors were doled out they'd have to go to Mike Barr -- the Horns 6-foot,7-inch center. Barr finished with a game-high 30 points and unofficially hauled down 18 rebounds.
Most of Barr's points usually came in the low blocks were he used his size and bulk to power close to the basket. Throughout the game, Barr showed a nice shooting touch from mid-range and had a three-point bomb to his credit. At the free-throw line, he hit seven-of-11 attempts.
If he continues his deft shooting touch from outside, defenders will have a tough time finding a way to stop him.
Connolly finished with 13 points and Kyle Hubbard contributed eight.
Barr and Hubbard are the only two players on the team who were starters last season.
Many on the roster are up from last year's jayvee squad.
Andy Sargent tallied seven and Wellington Cassuto had six.
Notre Dame is a parochial Valley school competing in its first full year of prep sports.
Next up for the Longhorns is a visit Dec. 2 from the highly regarded Scottsdale Coronado Dons. Game times are 4 p.m. (freshman), 5:30 p.m. (jayvee) and 7 p.m. (varsity) in Wilson dome.