A Pinnacle team the Lady Horns handily whipped by 30-plus points last season surprisingly turned the tables on Payson.
"They are a well-coached team," coach Rory Huff said, after watching his team's 40-39 upset. "I'd already put this one down as a ‘W.'"
In the clash Dec. 10 in Wilson Dome, the Lady Horns struggled offensively all evening, posting the team's lowest point total of the season.
"That rim must have looked about one-half inch to our players," Huff said.
The team's two leading scorers, Tanya Davis and Tracy Fitzpatrick, scored just seven points each.
"We could never get untracked," Huff said." We shot seven-for-23 from the free-throw line and an even worse percentage from the field."
The following evening in Prescott, the Lady Horns got back on track in a 46-35 victory.
Autumn Herrera led all scorers with 12 points and Krystal McRae had 10.
Huff cited all-around team play and a strong work ethic as keys to the much-needed victory.
"The girls were very unselfish and they worked hard at both ends (of the floor)," he said.
In junior varsity play, coach Carol Hayes' team won 39-18 against Pinnacle, but lost 44-35 to Prescott.
In the win over Pinnacle, Kyja Sommars had 10 points and Tiffany Klemstein, eight.
Against Prescott, freshman Karina Haught led all scorers with eight points. Sophomore Caitlin Fruth had seven.
The freshman team, coached by Cheryl Chance, whipped Pinnacle 47-17 behind Britney McDaniel's eight points.
In Prescott, McDaniel finished with nine points but it wasn't enough for the Payson cause. Prescott ran out to an early nine-point lead and coasted to a 45-24 victory.
All three Lady Horn teams return to action Dec. 17 in Wilson Dome against the Apache Junction Prospectors. Game times are 4 p.m. (freshmen), 5:30 p.m. (jayvee) and 7 p.m. (varsity).
Following that clash, the varsity team takes a break before returning Dec. 28-29 to the Wilson Dome for the annual 16-team Holiday Hoops tournament.