Horns Beat Alchesay

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The mighty have fallen.

At least in the Class 3A East region basketball chase they have.

Among those toppled in Jan. 28 games were state top-ranked Holbrook and highly touted Alchesay. Holbrook was beaten 53-51 by Blue Ridge and the Falcons fell 76-73 to the Payson Longhorns.

Holbrook entered its game against Blue Ridge as the unbeaten (8-0) region leaders. Alchesay opened against the Horns with an 8-1 record.

Although Holbrook and Alchesay continue to hold onto first and second place in the region standings, the losses both suffered tightened up the run for the championship, with one week remaining in the regular season.

In upsetting Alchesay in Wilson dome, the Horns rode good defense and rock solid rebounding to the victory.

The Horns' man-to-man scheme forced 19 turnovers from a Falcon team that had built a reputation on sound floor play. Payson also out-rebounded the Falcons 26-17.

The one statistic where the Falcons had an edge was at the free throw line.

"They shot a bunch of free throws, especially in the fourth quarter, that kept them close," coach Chuck Hardt said.

Payson finished 14-for-24 from the line and the Falcons were 19-for-31 -- seven-for-12 in the fourth quarter.

The Horns took an early 13-11 lead and by halftime were clinging to a 33-30 cushion. In the third stanza, the Horns outscored Alchesay 17-10 to assume a 50-40 lead in the final quarter.

Although the Horns were outscored in the final 10 minutes, Alchesay could never erase the lead Payson built earlier.

"We never trailed," Hardt said. "We found our heart in this game, we now know we can rely on each other in tight situations."

Senior Brandon Buckner led all scorers, with 18 points. Ollie Lewinson tallied 11 and Robert Neuman contributed 10.

Miles Huff played the role of floor general, dishing out six assists.

The 3A East region standings

1. Holbrook (8-1)

2. Alchesay (8-2)

3. Blue Ridge (6-4)

4. Payson (5-4)

5. Round Valley (4-5)

6. Snowflake (2-7)

7. Show Low (0-10)

Games Tuesday, Jan. 31

Round Valley vs. Snowflake

Alchesay vs. Holbrook

Payson vs. Blue Ridge

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