The Lady Longhorns suffered through the ups and downs of small-town high school basketball during the Winslow Winter Classic.
The ups were represented by a relatively easy 54-21 tournament win over Class 1A Joseph City. But the downs were evident during a 60-33 loss to perennially tough Winslow led by coaching legend Don Petronavich.
The split in Bulldog land gives the Lady Horns an 8-4 record at the holiday break.
The team will not return to action until Jan. 3 when it hosts Estrella Foothills at 3:30 p.m. in Wilson Dome.
The team’s mark represents the second best record in the East region behind only Alchesay, which is 8-1, and on a six-game winning streak.
The Lady Falcons sterling record is no surprise to prep fans, many of whom expected the team to battle Payson for the East Region title.
In the Winter Classic win over Joseph City, the outcome was never much in doubt as the Lady Horns jumped out to a 20-4 lead and built a 29-14 cushion at halftime. Payson nailed down a sure win in the third quarter by outscoring JC 17-2.
The Chuck Taylor’s were on the other foot in the Lady Horns’ loss to powerful Winslow.
Petro’s runnin’ and gunnin’ reservation five, which has won more state titles than any girls team in Arizona, salted the game away in the second quarter outscoring Payson 15-2.
The Dogs poured more salt in the wound by besting the Lady Horns 15-2 in the final stanza.
All game long, the Payson “D” was frustrated by the trio of Kourtney Shirley, Chrissandria Jackson and Raquel Singer, who combined for 40 of Winslow’s 60 points.
No tournament statistics are available for the Lady Horns whose coach, Stacy Anderson, is on holiday vacation.
When Payson does return to the court, the team will feature some of the East’s finest players including senior Jenna Robertson who is among the region’s leaders in scoring, three-point shooting, blocks and rebounds.