Dream Team Tops In Town Tournament


Many basketball fans think of the Dream Team as the collection of legendary professional players -- including Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson and Larry Bird -- that won the gold medal at the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona.

For local youth coach Randy Pryor, the Dream Team is the 11- and 12-year-old boys who played their way to a 3-0 record and the championship of the Payson Parks and Recreation basketball tournament. The annual youth showdown was contested March 27 at the Tonto Apache and Payson High School gyms.

On the way to the crown, the boys defeated Snowflake, Scorpions and Blue Ridge.

Rim Country Middle School sixth-grader Cody Waterman, a member of the Dream Team, remembers the tournament as a fun way to prove just how good the team is.

"We knew we could win it," he said.

In addition to coaching the boys' championship team, Pryor headed the Lady Ballers girls team that narrowly lost the consolation championship. For J'nae Harris, a Lady Ballers team member, the tournament sparked a desire to continue playing.

"We want to get in more tournaments," she said.

P&R Recreation Sports Coordinator Teddy Pettet said the hoop showdown was a complete success.

Tigers name Loutzenheiser

Gilbert High School's newly appointed boys varsity basketball coach David Loutzenheiser is a cousin of Payson High School coach Mike Loutzenheiser.

David, a varsity assistant to Tom Bennett last season, was named Gilbert's coach when Bennett recently retired. David played high school ball at Apache Junction and for Bennett at Mesa Community College. He was on the Gilbert staff six of the seven seasons Bennett coached the Tigers.

Volunteers aplenty

If there was a positive note in calling off the Grand Prix mountain bike race Saturday, it was that all the volunteers who offered their services showed up as promised.

Local mountain biking guru Dan Basinski was extremely encouraged by the show of support for the inaugural event.

Among those volunteering their services were the Payson Police Department volunteers, Rim Country Morning Rotary, Payson Parks and Recreation, Rim Country Regional Chamber of Commerce, Rim Country 4 Wheelers Club, KRIM, KMOG, the Dallas Blaylock family, Shirley Armstrong, Keith Jackson, the Payson Roundup, Payson Regional Medical Center and the Gila Country Sheriff's Department.

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