The basketball eyes of Arizona are focused on Wilson dome and old PHS gym, where the Payson Holiday Hoops tournament is unfolding.
Tournament action tipped off at 10 a.m. Dec. 27 with the Lady Longhorns playing Higley in the dome and Scottsdale Desert Mountain taking on Tucson Catalina in the gymnasium. (Results not available at press time).
Action in the 16-team tournament continues until 8:30 p.m. this evening and resumes at 8 a.m. tomorrow with consolation bracket clashes in both the dome and gym.
The consolation championship will be played Dec. 28 at 5 p.m and the championship finale at 8 p.m. in the dome.
Of course, it is the gold medal game the defending champion Lady Longhorns have their collective sights set upon.
Last season, Payson upset Page 50-33 in the finale to finish 4-0 in the holiday shoot out.
A similar showing this year has been a goal of the team since the onset of preseason practices in November.
"We are defending champs, but will have to play exceptionally to win," coach Rory Huff said.
The Lady Horns enter the fray with a 7-5 record and will rely on several varsity newcomers and a handful of veterans for scoring, rebounding and solid defense.
Among the rookies being counted on to contribute to the Lady Horn effort are Katrina Haught, Kayla O'Donnel and Cydney Figueroa.
Varsity veterans who could pave the road to victory are Tori Wilbanks, Danielle O'Haver and Jadyn Walden.
Huff said he hopes an enthusiastic contingent of supporters turn out to cheer the Lady Horns in their efforts.
Admission is $5 for adults and $3 for students. Children under age 5 will be admitted free of charge. Concessions Tuesday will include Indian tacos. Regular concession fare will be on sale tomorrow.
All proceeds from admission and concessions will benefit the PHS girls basketball program.