In her first year at the helm of the Rim Country Middle School seventh grade girls basketball program, Carol Hayes has the young players performing with a great deal of enthusiasm and vigor.
Evidence of the quality of the players was apparent in the Lady Mavs' third place finish at the Tonto Apache Girls Invitational.
Hayes' charges posted a 4-2 record defeating Coronado, Kingman, And One and the Rim Country Middle School eighth graders. The Mavs lost to Top Flight and Fort McDowell.
Hayes, who also coached the Lady Longhorn junior varsity basketball team last season, is lavish in her praise of the RCMS players.
Annie Klemstine, she said, "did a great job from both the post and guard position." Jessica Slapnicka drew praise for making good decision on offense and her ability to play pressure defense.
Hayes cited Christina Deaton, Kayla O'Donnell, Lanie Gugino and Janae Blalock for controlling the boards and scoring in the paint. Cydney Figueroa, Jenna Robertson, Rose Hardt, Beth Hoyt and Kristin Remonda "did a great job taking care of the ball and played great defense on top of the press," Hayes said.
From the wing positions, Jade Berryman and Marquel Waterman were consistent scorers, Hayes said.
The solid tournament showing of the young hoopsters has to be good news for Lady Longhorn varsity coach Rory Huff. The more the players learn and develop as seventh graders, the better they will be once they reach varsity.
The news coming out of Tucson that a young basketball player was seriously injured in a post game victory celebration is very disturbing.
According to reports, Tucson High's Joe Kay scored on a last second dunk to cap his team's 62-54 victory over Tucson Salpointe.
Almost immediately, Kay was reportedly tackled by celebrating fans. While being mobbed, Kay suffered a fractured jaw, a torn carotid artery and suffered a stroke.
Reports are that Kay is in intensive care at the University of Arizona Medical Center in Tucson.
Kay is a 4.0 student and a National Merit Scholarship semifinalist. He also has a full scholarship to play volleyball at Stanford.
1979 Horns to be honored by AIA
Longtime Longhorn basketball fans, ex-players and their spouses and friends are gearing up to travel Feb. 28 to America West Arena in Phoenix. At halftime of the Class 3A boys state championship game, Payson High's 1979 Class 2A state champion team will be honored. The celebration is a part of the Arizona Interscholastic Association's recognition of state title winners from 25 years ago. Other teams to be recognized for their 1979 gold medal showings will be Phoenix St. Mary's (5A), Winslow (4A), Willcox (3A) and McNary (1A).
The Horns' 1979 team posted a 21-4 record and beat Williams 49-48 in the state championship game played at Arizona State University.
Dave Bradley and Chuck Hardt coached the team.
An e-mail received at the Payson Roundup leads us to believe that several Phoenix friends of state champion team member Jerry Willis might have a few surprises in store for him at the celebration.
It should be a great time for all the former Horns.