First Round Upset Ends Horn Hopes


The state tournament goals and dreams of the Lady Longhorns came crashing down in a 48-37 loss to Coconino Feb. 10 in Wilson Dome.

With the defeat, the season comes to a sudden end for first year coach Rory Huff and his players.

The team entered the Grand Canyon Region opening round game as the regular season fourth place finisher. Coconino wrapped up the campaign in fifth place and lost twice to Payson in the regular season.

Payson's top-four GC finish earned the Lady Horns a first round home court tournament game.

The Coconino Panthers now advance to the second round of the regional tournament, which was played yesterday (Thursday) in Flagstaff.

Prior to the clash against Coconino, Huff said the key to a victory would be to stop the Panthers one-man scoring machine Charmaine Johnson. Try as the Lady Horn defense did, it couldn't contend with the Panther sharpshooter who took game scoring honors with 19 points.

Autumn Herrera led Payson with 10 points. Britney Owens tallied eight.

Early on in the loss, it was obvious the Lady Horns were not clicking on all cylinders. Coconino jumped out to an early 12-9 lead and expanded it to 25-19 at halftime.

In the third quarter, the Lady Horns made a mild comeback closing the Coconino lead to 33-30 at one point.

But in the final go, Coconino outscored Payson 15-7 to nail down the win.

All that remains for the Lady Horns is the traditional season ending awards ceremony. A date and place for the festivities will be announced next week. At the event, Huff will announce the players who were recently selected to the GC all-region team.

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