Lady Longhorns Get Back-To-Back Wins

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Back-to-back East region victories was just the remedy the doctor ordered for the Lady Longhorns East region woes.

The twin wins, which were chalked up Jan. 11 and 12 in Wilson Dome, righted a Lady Longhorn ship that was listening after an East region season opening 42-32 loss to Round Valley.

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Jenna Robertson gets caught in the strangest places. A Lady Yellow Jacket attempts to block Robertson in against a teammate, in an attempt to keep her from scoring another two points. It didn't work.

With the pair of triumphs over the Yellow Jackets and Cougars, the Lady Horns improve to 15-4 overall and 2-1 in the East.

The Payson Girls defeated the Yellow Jackets 50-39 and then beat the Show Low 65-44

As tough as Payson's loss to Round Valley was to absorb among PHS fans, it did not end the team's hopes to repeat as East region champions.

But to earn a second successive title, PHS must defeat Round Valley Jan. 25 in Wilson Dome or hope the Lady Elks stumble against other region teams.

The results of the regular season games will be used to seed the six East teams into the regional tournament to be played Feb. 5, 8 and 9 in Eagar-Springerville.

In defeating the Yellow Jackets, Payson built a 29-18 halftime lead, then traded baskets with BR in the final two quarters.

Christina Deaton turned in a commendable all-around floor game with a team high 16 points, nine rebounds, six blocks and two assists.

With the effort, Deaton now leads the East in blocks with 3.6 per game and is the fourth leading rebounder at 6.1 per game.

Kayla Morgan contributed 12 points to the win and Cydney Figueroa tallied seven.

Against Show Low, the Lady Horns raced out to a 16-6 early lead and never looked back.

Much of the credit for the victory must go to forward-center forward-center Jenna Robertson who owned the boards hauling in a game high 15 rebounds. She also finished with 12 points and played intimidating defense in the low blocks.

Figueroa engineered the Lady Horn offense with 12 points that included five-of-five free-throw shooting. With five steals, Figueroa also contributed to Show Low's game-long frustration.

Falcons await in Whiteriver

The Lady Horns pursuit of postseason honors continues today, Tuesday, in Whiteriver against Alchesay.

Last year, the Falcons, Round Valley and Lady Horns battled all season long for the East title.

PHS eventually beat Alchesay 59-44 in the East tournament championship only to have the Arizona Interscholastic Association later disqualify the Lady Horns for an ineligible player who had transferred to PHS from Alchesay.

The Falcons eventually took Payson's spot in the Class 3A state tournament in Flagstaff where the Lady Horns were relegated to watching from the stands.

The drama that preceded that game, the team's disqualification and a judge's ruling that upheld Payson's ouster made a television daytime soap opera look like the "Hannah Montana" show.

As feisty as last year's PHS vs. Alchesay rivalry was, it could be even more spirited this season, as both teams battle for playoff berths.

Alchesay (12-9 overall and 1-2 in the East) has at its disposal two proven scorers in Noel Hinton (12.5 ppg) and Michelle George (11.9 ppg).

In order for Payson to emerge victorious this evening, the team must limit those two's scoring, effectively break any press the Falcons might throw at them and use their distinct height advantage to score, rebound and defend.

Game time is 6 p.m. in Whiteriver.

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