Payson High School's girls basketball team blew the wind out of favorite Round Valley at this weekend's Round Ball Shoot-out in Eagar.
The Lady Horns brought home the championship honors from the three-day tournament. The Payson girls faced a team from El Paso, Texas as well as Arizona, which included not only host Round Valley, but Valley Lutheran of Phoenix, Valley from Sanders, Ariz., Thatcher and Alchesay.
The Lady Horns' closest game was with Alchesay where the final score had only a three-point difference. The Horns posted 45 points to Alchesay's 42. The two met the final day of the tournament, Dec. 8.
Leading scorer was Kayla Morgan with 19.
The final contest was with Round Valley, which Payson beat 69-36. Again the team's leading scorer was Morgan, who put 19 points on the board for the Lady Longhorns.
"All 12 of the girls did a great job," said coach Grant Coley.
"It was the crowning jewel. They dedicated the game to Rose Hardt, who had to have an emergency appendectomy this weekend."
Three of the PHS team were named to the all-tournament team: Morgan, Marquel Waterman, Jenna Robertson. He said the coaches and staff at the tournament vote on the players to be named to the all-tournament team.
"Jenna was also named MVP. We should have had five or six of our girls on the all-tournament team. They all were awesome," Coley said.
He pointed to the efforts of Robertson, Cydney Figueroa and Christina Deaton. "Jenna plays everywhere. Cydney did an awesome job as a point guard. She ran the game very well. Christina was key to our championship win, she was tremendous in defense."
The first game, Dec. 6, was with Ysleta of El Paso, Texas. Payson won 60-49, with top scorers Morgan, 13, Figueroa, 12 and Deaton, 11.
Game 2 with Valley Lutheran saw the Lady Horns put up 59 points to their opponent's 22. Figueroa led the scoring for Payson with 13 points, the only Longhorn in double digits.
Payson started play Dec. 7 with Valley, winning 45-37. Putting double digits on the scoreboard were Robertson with 13, Figueroa with 12 and Deaton with 10. The day's second game pitted Payson against Thatcher. Payson emerged victorious, 50-33. Figueroa again led in points with 12, followed by Deaton with 11 and Robertson with 10.
"I am very proud of each and every one of them," Coley said.
The Lady Horns' next game is at 7 p.m., Tuesday, Dec. 11 when they host Red Rock High School of Sedona.