The Longhorn basketball team's quest to become a more competitive team picked up steam in the first round of the Bradshaw Mountain Invitational with a 56-48 win over Estrella Foothills. The Horns opened the season with six consecutive losses, many of them to state top-ranked teams, but have now won three of their last five games.
In whipping Estrella Dec. 27 at Bradshaw Mountain High School, the Horns held a precarious 41-40 lead early in the fourth quarter.
A 15-8 scoring advantage in the late going eventually lifted the Horns to the much-needed win. For Payson, senior forward Donnie Wilbanks took game scoring honors with 16 points. Junior forward Brian Schwind finished with 13 and Darren Daniels had 10.
Having three players in double figures is a good sign for the Longhorns. When the team accomplishes that goal, it is usually competitive. When the Horns struggle with fewer than three in double figures, the trend has been for Payson to be on the losing end. Also for Payson, senior point guard Wellington Cassuto and off guard Andy Sargent tallied seven points each.