Freshmen Remain Unbeaten On The Hardwood

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The Payson High School freshman boys basketball team improved its record to 11-0 with four consecutive victories over Grand Canyon opponents.

The team's impressive run through regional opponents began Jan. 9 with a 56-36 triumph over Chinle and continued with wins against Flagstaff, 60-52, Sinagua, 66-22, and Page, 61-43.

In whipping Page Jan. 17 in Wilson Dome, the freshmen thrived on a monster game from guard Miles Huff who finished with 23 points, six steals and five assists.

Alex Bunk, the team's leading scorer this season, finished with 12 points. Hunter Hardt contributed eight.

Against Sinagua Jan. 10 in Flagstaff, coach Chuck Hardt was able to empty his bench early thanks mostly to a 23-5 first quarter lead that swelled to 50-10 at halftime. The point differential between the two teams resulted in officials playing the second half with a running clock.

Without that decision, the freshmen -- even with reserves on the floor -- had the potential of a 100-point game.

Payson's well-balanced scoring attack was led by Bunk (19 points), Hardt (14) and Huff (10).

In whipping homestanding Flagstaff Jan. 10, the first-year Horns dominated in the low blocks outscoring the Eagles 36-12 on "points in the paint."

Hunter Hardt led all scorers with 20 points on eight-of-14 shooting attempts from the field. He also corralled nine rebounds.

Bryson Addington had a superb all-around effort with eight points, nine assists, six rebounds and four steals.

About the only shortcoming the team suffered was at the line where the Horns cashed in on only 13 of 26 attempts.

"It's our Achilles' heel," coach Hardt said. "The kids need to choose to be mentally tough."

In beating Page a week later, the players appeared to heed their coaches advice finishing 13 for 20 from the line.

In the Horns' 20-point win over Chinle Jan. 9 in the old PHS gym, the hot-shooting freshmen were 22 of 36 from two-point field goal range. Bunk (six for 10) and Huff (four for four) led the effort.

The freshmen returned to the Payson High School gym hardwood yesterday (Thursday) against Flagstaff Coconino. (Results not available at press time).

Payson also plays host to Flagstaff at 5:30 p.m. Jan. 27.

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