Payson High School’s most accomplished basketball players will take to the court today, Dec. 2, without as much as a day’s practice.
The lack of on the floor training is because the players were also members of the football team that wrapped up the season only three days ago.
“Yes, I will play some of them,” head coach Kenny Hayes said.
Those on the team who also were also on the football team include Matt Wilson, Tyler Savage, Cody York, Shane Keith and David Carlen.
All played prominent roles on the 2007-2008 basketball team’s run to the East Region championship and state runner-up finish. With another season of maturity, strength and experience, the nucleus is expected to be even more potent.
Today’s opponent, Fountain Hills, was once a state-contending team that each year gave the Longhorns fits.
But with several coaching changes, the Falcons seem to have fallen on hard times.
Payson enters the season ranked second in the state behind defending 3A champion Estrella Foothills.
In February 2007 at Jobing.com Arena in Glendale, Foothills outlasted Payson 64-51 to win the state crown.
Four seniors graduated last spring from that PHS team but the returning letter winners, along with Hayes — last season’s East Coach of the Year — give Horn fans hope Payson won’t finish state runners-up a third consecutive year.
Game time tonight is 7 p.m. in Fountain Hills.
Payson makes its home debut Dec. 9 in Wilson Dome against Florence.