After tying for first place in the East region regular season title chase with Round Valley and Alchesay, the Lady Longhorns have fallen to third on a power-points tie-breaker. All three teams wrapped up the regular season Saturday evening with identical 7-3 records.
Hard luck Payson, now clutching the regional tournament's third seed, will open the postseason at 1 pm. tomorrow, Wednesday at Round Valley High School against Snowflake.
The Lobos enter the regional tournament as the fourth seed.
In past years before power points were kept, tie-breakers would have involved results of head-to-head meetings or coin flips.
But this season after the Elks, Falcons and Lady Horns tied for the East crown, region athletic directors, including Payson High's Jason Lobik, decided to turn to power points to decide regional tournament seeding for the top-three teams.
Because Alchesay has the most points, 77.3611, the Falcons were awarded the first seed.
Round Valley currently has 76.0556 points, so the Elks were given the second seed.
With 74.6667 points, Payson fell to the less advantageous third seed.
The only glitch in using power points is that the calculations will not be complete until after South region regular season games are played tomorrow evening. Which means, Payson could pick up more power points because the Lady Horns have played South champion Globe (17-1).
Although the number of points Payson will pick up after tomorrow's South games might not be enough to overtake Round Valley in the point's standings, Lobik is concerned.
"It's a problem that will have to be fixed in the future," he said.
While falling to third means Payson will have a tougher road to travel in the East tournament, coach Stacy Anderson is looking forward to playing Snowflake.
"I feel really good about the game -- I think the girls are ready to play," she said.
Payson wrapped up the regular season Feb. 2 in Wilson Dome with a 54-41 win over the Lobos.
Earlier in the season, Payson lost 57-53 to Snowflake.
"We've watched films of both games and the girls now know why they lost the first time," Anderson said. "They were a little surprised when the saw they didn't really play good defense."
If the Lady Horns can slip past Snowflake, the team would be assured of a seed into the state tournament. Even with a loss, PHS could make it to state on the power-points system which seeds the top 16 teams in the 3A conference into the state tournament.
Payson is currently ranked 12th in the state in power points.