Lady Horns Earning Title Of 'Comeback Queens'

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The Lady Longhorns have proven to be to prep basketball what Silky Sullivan was to horse racing.

Silky was the handsome chestnut thoroughbred that captured the hearts of racing fans everywhere with his come-from-behind running style. In the 1958 Santa Anita Derby, Silky fell 28 lengths off the pace, but when jockey Bill Shoemaker challenged him, he flew past the field, winning the race by 3-1/2 lengths

Much like Silky, the Lady Horns mesmerized fans by erasing a nine-point deficit in a 50-38 win Jan. 10 at Estrella Foothills.

Trailing 36-27 at the onset of the fourth quarter, the Lady Horns outscored EF 23-2 in the final go to win 50-38.

"The girls really showed heart, determination and the will to win," coach Rory Huff said. "It was an amazing comeback."

As Shoemaker was the catalyst for Silky, Karina Haught was the spark that ignited the Lady Horns' rally.

"We were sluggish for three quarters, then Karina dove on the floor twice for steals," Huff said. "She fired everyone up."

As much as the coach enjoyed the Lady Horns' Silky act, he's hoping his players don't perform it too often the remainder of the season.

"I'd rather we play with a lead than always coming from behind," he said.

Danielle O'Haver took scoring honors with 14 points. Tori Wilbanks, the team's season leading scorer, finished with 10. Freshman Christian Deaton tallied seven.

The win improved the Lady Horns record to 11-8 and was the team's final nonregion game of the season.

During the next three weeks, Payson plays eight East games, the results of which will determine the squad's postseason tournament fate.

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