Horn Hoop Schedule Revamped By Storm

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The strong Pacific storm system that caused flooding in California and inched its way east into Arizona in late December, wreaked havoc on Longhorn basketball schedules.

Substantial flooding, snow and dangerous driving conditions on high country roads forced the postponement of games pitting the Payson High School Longhorns against both Coconino and Flagstaff.

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For Payson High School basketball players, the school bus will soon be turned into a home away from home. Due to postponed games in early January, the Horns will spend most of the remainder of the season traveling in the buses to Flagstaff, Mingus and Page for Grand Canyon Region games.

Following those postponements, PHS athletic director Dave Bradley and officials from both Flagstaff-area schools huddled to settle on make-up dates.

Those dates are:

  • PHS boys and girls basketball vs. Flagstaff Coconino will be played Jan. 26 in Wilson dome and old PHS gymnasium.
  • PHS basketball vs. Flagstaff will be played Jan. 21 at Flagstaff High School and Jan. 25 in Payson.
  • The playing sites for the Jan. 15 and Feb. 5 games against Page were swapped. Page visited Payson Jan. 15 and the Horns travel to Page Feb. 5

Game times for the basketball games will remain the same -- 4 p.m., jayvee boys and girls; 5:30 p.m., varsity girls and freshman boys; and 7 p.m., varsity boys and freshman girls.

The revamped schedules will result in the Longhorns playing a break-neck pace of three games each week for the final three weeks of the season.

In a normal schedule, prep teams play only twice a week. The toughest challenge awaiting the Longhorns in the new schedule is adapting to the often tedious aspects of life on the road. The first test of PHS mettle occurs Jan. 20 and 21 when the Horns travel first to Flagstaff Coconino and then turn around the following day and visit Flagstaff High School.

As if those back-to-back games weren't enough time on the road, the Horns repeat the process Feb. 1 and 2 when the team travels first to Flagstaff Sinagua and the following day visits Mingus.

The season wraps up with, what else, but a five-hour Feb. 5 jaunt to Page.

Oh yes, if the Horns make the regional tournament Feb. 8 and 9, they'll have to travel -- possibly to Flagstaff.

The upcoming cross country jaunts also occur on the heels of last week's 18-hour trip to Chinle.

Knowing the woes of the road the PHS hoop teams do, players might want to consider adopting country music legend Willie Nelson's hit single "On The Road Again" as their theme song.

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