The Gonzaga University Lady Bulldog women's basketball camp provided a national stage for 11 Lady Longhorns to showcase their hardwood expertise.
During the camp, held June 26 through June 29 on the Gonzaga campus near Spokane, Wash., the Lady Horns responded to the challenge by posting an 8-1 record, winning a "Crunch Time" challenge and having a member claim the crown in a free-throw contest.
The Lady Horn varsity hopefuls lost only one game during the team tournament -- a camp-opening defeat to Toansket, Wash.
Following the loss, the team went on to win eight consecutive games, including two wins over Ferris.
"After the first win, (Ferris) wanted a rematch and we won that game, too," said PHS coach Grant Coley.
In addition to the excellent showing in the team tournament, the PHS squad participated in a "Crunch Time" shootout. In it, Payson played all other camp teams for one minute.
The teams received points for being ahead on the scoreboard at the end of the minute, for being tied and no points for trailing.
"We won that," Coley said.
Also, in the camp's free-throw championships, Shawna Davis shot her way to the title, hitting 16 consecutive attempts.
Entered in the camp, along with Payson, were 48 prep teams from around the Northwest including Oregon, Wyoming, California, British Columbia, Alberta, Montana, Washington and Idaho.
On hand as camp instructors were Lady Bulldog head coach Kelly Graves, assistant Jodie Kaczor Berry, Gonzaga varsity team members and several alumni.
During the team's stay in Spokane, the players, coaches and chaperones were able to reside in a nearby hotel, thanks to donations from Lumbermens in Star Valley.
Coley also thanked assistant coach Margine Bowden and parent Susie Johnson for going along on the trip to serve as chaperones.
"I don't think people realize how much they do for the team," he said.
Players Jenna Robertson, Cydney Figueroa and Christina Deaton drew the coach's praise for their stellar play in the camps.
"All were outstanding," he said.
Next season, Robertson and Deaton will play the post-positions for the Lady Horns and Figueroa will handle point guard chores.
All three were standouts during the 2006-2007 season in which the Lady Horns won the East region championship.
On to the beach
Next up for the summer team is the 21st Annual San Diego Classic July 19 to 22. The fray, which has drawn 376 teams from around the country, is known as "The Nation's Largest High School Basketball Tournament."
In it, Payson is entered in the 2A bracket with mostly California teams. However, representing Arizona in the bracket are Winslow, Tolleson, Williams and Sahuaro.
During the course of the shootout, Coley anticipates his team will play at least 10 games at various venues in the San Diego area.