Fab Four Recognized For Their Accomplishments On The Court

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Four Lady Longhorn basketball players have been named to the All-East region team.

Selected to the 12-member first team, in a voting of coaches held in Show Low at season's end, were junior Tori Wilbanks and senior Danielle O'Haver.

Freshmen Christina Deaton and Cydney Figueroa were named honorable mention.

Wilbanks, playing in all 33 games this season, led the team in scoring (11.4 ppg) and rebounding (9.8 per game).

In crunch situations, Wilbanks was the team's go to player as evidenced by her team high of 370 shot attempts.

Holding down the rough and tumble low post position, she was particularly effective on the defensive boards, corralling 174 missed shots. Wilbanks also contributed 38 steals to the Lady Horn cause.

O'Haver, the Lady Horns designated shooter, averaged 8.8 ppg, most of which came from beyond the 19-foot-9-inch arc. Her 64 three-pointers were a school single season record. She also set a school mark for most three-pointers in a career with 140.

Her free throw percentage of 59.6 was second on the team only to Deaton who finished at 62.7 percent.

O'Haver often played the role of floor general, averaging 2.2 assists and 3.5 rebounds per game.

The honorable mention selection of Deaton and Figueroa represents a tremendous accomplishment in that they are the only two freshmen in the East region to receive recognition from coaches.

In fact, of the 26 players chosen either first team or honorable mention, 22 of them are juniors and seniors.

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Danielle O'Haver set a school record for the most three-point shots made in a season and a career.

Although Deaton was sidelined part of the year with an injury -- she appeared in 24 games. The lanky rookie eventually rounded into the team's most ferocious defender with 46 blocked shots.

The next highest on the team was six blocked shots by Kayla O'Donnell.

"(Blocking shots) was kind of her forte," coach Rory Huff said. "She had a ton of them every game."

Deaton also averaged 9.1 points and 9.8 rebounds per game.

Figueroa played in all 33 games, averaging 4.6 points and 2.0 rebounds per game.

Her 49 steals tied her with O'Haver for the team lead.

The season

The foursome of all-region players led the Lady Horns to a 16-17 record, a fourth-place finish in the East region final standings and a berth into the state tournament.

For the team, the season ended Feb. 15 in Flagstaff following a 48-17 loss to powerful Chandler Seton.

Payson entered the postseason as the East region's No. 4 seed pitted against the state-ranked Sentinels who represented the South's No. 1 seed.

While the loss to Seton spelled the end of the high school careers for seniors Jadyn Walden, Kendra Francis and O'Haver, it also marked the debut of a talented group of freshmen who will form the nucleus of future teams. The first-year players included Kayla O'Donnell, Deaton and Figueroa.

The highlight of the 2005-2006 season for the Lady Horns might have been a Feb. 8 East regional tournament 41-40 win over the home standing Blue Ridge Yellow Jackets.

That upset in Lakeside helped the Lady Horns achieve their season long goal of a berth into the postseason.

"Going in there and taking one on their home court was tremendous," Huff said.

All-Region Athletes

ALL-EAST FIRST TEAM

Markee Davis, Round Valley

Brooke Boyce, Round Valley

Rikkilyn London, Blue Ridge

Rhea Cosay, Alchesay

Bobbie Baldwin, Holbrook

Misti Caldwell, Snowflake

Chelsea Montgomery, Snowflake

Chantelle Godfrey, Snowflake

Danielle O'Haver, Payson

Tori Wilbanks, Payson

Whitney Nix, Show Low

Patty Lewis, Show Low

HONORABLE MENTION

Kendra Christensen, Snowflake

Whitney Stratton, Snowflake

Terresa Alsenay, Alchesay

Jeri Quintero, Alchesay

Danika Crowther, Round Valley

Marcea Matthews, Round Valley

Christina Deaton, Payson

Cydney Figueroa, Payson

Gina Allison, Show Low

Chelsea Nix, Show Low

Kimberly Goldtooth, Holbrook

Donna Hanley, Holbrook

Lathena Hill, Blue Ridge

Rae Tenijieth, Blue Ridge

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