After losing 57-51 last season to the Apache Junction Prospectors, Lady Horns team members vowed to avenge the disheartening defeat.
The chance for revenge presented itself Dec. 17 in the old Payson High School gymnasium.
The Lady Horns ran roughshod over AJ 59-28.
In last year's loss, coach Rory Huff attributed the team's demise to poor free throw shooting in which the players cashed in on only seven of 17 charity attempts.
In the rematch, the Lady Horns improved their shooting percentage to an even .500 hitting 15 of 30 attempts.
Haylee Huff led the team from the line by cashing in on four of five free throws.
The Horns jumped out to a 15-2 first quarter lead and expanded it to 30-9 at halftime.
Coach Huff attributed the Horns quick start to "great defense by the whole team."
In three full quarters of play, the Lady Prospectors sputtering offense scored just 12 points.
AJ's offense couldn't get untracked until the final quarter when coach Huff began to empty his bench.
Offensively, Haylee Huff -- a senior point guard -- finished with a game-high 14 points. Danielle O'Haver made good on three of seven three-point attempts to finish with nine points.
Tracy Fitzpatrick turned in a fine overall floor game with 10 points, a team-high eight rebounds and two assists.
In junior varsity action, Karina Haught's 12 points and nine from Tina Crabdree paced the Lady Horns to a 43-34 win over the Prospectors. Coach Carol Hayes cited the rebounding of Sara Donovan and Tiffany Klemstein as crucial to the victory. Klemstein finished with 12 rebounds and Donovan had 11.
In freshman play, the Prospectors survived a 31-28 thriller. In the seesaw affair, neither team could build more than a three-point cushion. At halftime, AJ held a slim 17-14 lead. For Payson, Shaunna Davis had 12 points and Molly Lee had four.
The varsity team returns to action Dec. 28 and 29 in the Holiday Hoops tournament. The freshmen and jayvee teams don't play again until Jan. 4 when all three PHS squads travel to Flagstaff Coconino.