Freshman Coach Heads Summer Hoop Program

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The lack of a Longhorn boys basketball team head coach hasn't slowed the summer program.

Freshman coach Kenny Hayes has stepped in to run the off-season workouts until a replacement can be found for Mike Loutzenheiser, who resigned at the end of last season.

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Kenny Hayes

Hayes has taken over a summer workout schedule similar to the one Loutzenheiser put together prior to his resignation.

In the summer scheme, play tipped off June 3 and 4 at the Blue Ridge Summer Classic.

At Blue Ridge High School in Lakeside, the Payson crew finished with a 4-1 record losing only to Chandler Seton Catholic 50-38. Payson chalked up victories over St. Johns, 49-38, Snowflake, 45-27, Blue Ridge 44-31 and Alchesay 45-28.

Hayes said Brian Schwind stepped up as team leader and guard Miles Huff's ball handling and ability to successfully run the offense was outstanding. Brandon Buckner and Jake Winas were also cited for their spirited play.

"All of (the players) did pretty well. We were happy with them," Hayes said.

The action continues June 10 and 11 at the Longhorn Summer Invitational Tournament. The fray has drawn teams from Fountain Hills, Tucson Amphitheater, Queen Creek and Chandler Seton Catholic. Originally, Scottsdale Coronado pulled out last week.

Without Coronado, Hayes is mulling over replacing the Dons with a second Payson team.

"It might be made up of some of the freshman I had last season," Hayes said.

Another option, he said, would be to change the tournament schedule.

If Hayes retains the current schedule, Payson's A team will open at 9:30 a.m. June 10 against Fountain Hills. At noon, Payson plays an Amphitheater team that has been coming to the tournament for the past 20 years.

At the conclusion of the opening round robin a championship tournament will be held.

The championship game is set for 5 p.m. June 11.

In summer play format each half is a 20-minute running clock that stops only in the final two minutes.

If a player in fouled in the act of shooting, his team receives one point and the ball out of bounds. Free throws are not shot in summer play.

The Payson team will then return to summer action June 20 and 21 at the Round Valley Invitational Tournament. That showdown will pit Payson against many of the same teams it will clash with next school year when PHS returns to the 3A East region. For the past two years, PHS has been a member of the 4A Grand Canyon region.

"In Round Valley, we are going to find out how good we are going to be in the (3A East) region," Hayes said. "Hopefully we can do as well as we did in Blue Ridge."

In addition to playing summer tournaments, the players have the option of participating in evening weight training and open gym sessions. For a summer schedule, call (928) 474-2233.

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