The Longhorn boys basketball team goal will be to improve to 2-0 today, Tuesday, when Sedona Red Rock coach Mike Krajnak brings his Scorpions to Wilson Dome.
The two teams are all too familiar with one another, having clashed last season in two thrillers that were decided by a total of four points.
In the first game, which was played during the regular season, the Scorpions emerged victorious 40-38.
Payson had an opportunity to tie the game with 1.6 seconds remaining when then-senior Brian Schwind was fouled while shooting.
Schwind, however, missed both free throw attempts, allowing Sedona to escape with a narrow victory.
Three days later during the Winslow Bulldog Invitational Tournament, Payson avenged the loss with a 47-45 win.
Following that triumph, coach Chuck Hardt attributed it to rebounding and a hard-nosed "D".
"We outworked Sedona on the boards; that and defense made the difference," he said.
Among those from PHS who played in the 2005 games vs. Sedona and have returned to the Horn roster are Ollie Lewinson, Miles Huff, Carlos Lopez, Hunter Hardt and Bryson Addington.
All are expected to play prominent roles in this evening's clash.
A key to a win over Sedona, however, might rest in the red-hot shooting of junior left-hander Robert Walker.
In the Horns season opening 58-56 win over Scottsdale Christian, Walker took game scoring honors with 17 points.
Last season on the junior varsity, Walker proved to be a scrapper who didn't shy away from battling for the tough rebounds, diving for loose balls or playing stifling man-to-man defense.
He could be the all-around player the coach is looking for to fill out his lineup.
Also on varsity from last year's jayvee team is guard Levi Neal who scored nine points in the win over SC.
Walker and Neal join a seasoned senior group that has been together since they were freshmen.
Among those, Addington tallied eight against SC and Lopez contributed seven.
If the Horns had a shortcoming in 2005-2006 that Coach Hardt hopes to correct, it is turnovers.
In last season's loss to Sedona, the Horns committed a whopping 24 miscues. That trend continued most of the year as the Horns struggled with their ball handling and passing.
If the Horns can correct those maladies this evening and the remainder of the campaign, PHS could be headed for the postseason.
In junior varsity action against Sedona, coach Kenny Hayes will be out to reverse the disturbing second-half collapse that spelled the demise of his team in a 59-37 loss to Scottsdale Christian.
The PHS jayvees trailed only 30-29 at halftime but fell apart in the final two quarters.
Troy Brown, David Carlen and Shane Keith, who scored eight points each, led the Horns.
Jayvee game time this evening vs. Sedona is 5:30 p.m. Varsity tip off is at 7 p.m.