Quick Start Gives Longhorns Easy Win

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Tyler Savage (24) lunges backward toward the basket as he shoots during the first quarter of Tuesday night's game against the Fountain Hills Falcons.

A lightning-quick start, in which the Longhorns outscored Fountain Hills 18-6 in the first eight minutes, lifted Payson to a 69-53 win over the defending state champions.

The clash was a rematch of last year's 3A championship game in which the Falcons outlasted PHS, 53-42.

Although PHS head coach Kenny Hayes stopped short of calling the win a bit of revenge, he was elated with his team's performance.

"It was a good win for us, the kids played well," he said. "And of course, we wanted to beat Fountain Hills."

The game, Payson's second of the season, was played Nov. 27 in Wilson Dome.

Leading the charge against the Falcons were two seniors, Oliver Lewinson and Levi Neal, who suffered the heartbreak of defeat in last season's championship loss to FH.

Lewinson, a 6-foot, 8-inch forward/center, scored a team-high 16 points on six of six shooting from the field. The mark included a three-pointer, which is a rarity for Lewinson who usually scores most of his points down low where he can use his height as an advantage. By finishing one-for-one from the line, Lewinson posted a perfect shooting evening.

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David Carlen is all alone at the basket after a fast break gave him the opportunity to score against the Fountain Hills Falcons Tuesday night, Nov. 28.

While the "Big O" was heating up the nets, Neal -- who finished with 15 points -- was almost equally as accurate.

From two-point land, he cashed in on four-of-four attempts. He also hit one of two-three pointers and was four-of-six from the line.

Senior Robert Walker, sidelined during last year's championship game with an ankle injury, tallied 14 points to give the Longhorns three players in double digits.

In the battle on the boards, Lewinson corralled nine missed shots, shots, all defensive, and Walker hauled in four.

Defensively, Cody York, Shane Keith, Lewinson and Neal had two steals each. Walker and Neal played the role of floor generals with three assists each.

Hayes expressed some concerns about the team's 22 turnovers, saying that mark could come back to haunt the team, "we play up-tempo but we don't want that many (turnovers), we want it below 15."

The Longhorns host Valley Christian Friday, Game times are 4 (freshmen), 5:30 (junior varsity) and 7 p.m. (varsity).

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