Reeling from a 42-32 loss to Round Valley, the Lady Longhorns will attempt to right their listing East region ship today, Friday, against the visiting Blue Ridge Yellow Jackets. Game time is 6 p.m. in Wilson Dome.
Although Blue Ridge is not expected to be an East title contender, a Payson loss to the Yellow Jackets would drop the Lady Horns to 0-2 in the region title chase and be a tough obstacle to overcome.
The Jackets enter the game, sporting an 8-10 record that includes a 58-46-region loss to the Alchesay Falcons. Under first-year coach Katy Bowden, the Yellow Jackets opened the season 0-5, but since have shown marked improvement.
The Jackets are led offensively by the one-two punch of seniors Rae Tenijieth and Nicole Parrack. Tenijieth is averaging 14.1 ppg, which is second in the East only to Round Valley's Cassidi Donaldson. Parrack averages 11.3 ppg.
In Payson's all-important clash against BR, the Lady Horns will be out to avoid the foul trouble that plagued the team in the loss to Round Valley.
"Against them (RV) I had to patch work everything together," coach Grant Coley said. "We lost Cydney (Figueroa), Kayla (Morgan) to fouls and Christine (Deaton) was in foul trouble most of the game."
Although the Lady Horns whipped the Elks soundly early in the season, coach Chris Matthew's team opened with a vengeance, jumping out to a 17-6 lead.
Payson battled back to within 17-15 but later trailed 30-18.
"In the fourth quarter we were within one point (32-31)," Coley said. "The game was much closer than the final score (indicated)."
Deaton led the Lady Horn charge, finishing with 10 points, 10 rebounds and four blocks. Jenna Robertson contributed four points, seven rebounds, five blocks and four assists.
For tonight's game against BR, Coley doesn't anticipate making any lineup changes saying the proper players are in place and that he's hoping for a spirited effort from all them.
East region action for PHS continues tomorrow, Saturday, against Show Low.
Game time is 6 p.m. in Wilson Dome. Admission is $5.