The always-testy Alchesay Falcons put a dent in the Lady Longhorns East region title dreams by defeating Payson 48-42 Jan. 15 in Whiteriver.
The loss drops the Lady Horns East record to the break-even mark (2-2) and 15-5 overall.
Payson jumped to an early 16-11 lead and appeared to on a victory roll until Alchesay outscored the visitors 16-8 in the second stanza.
In the final two minutes, the Falcons led by 10 points before the Lady Horns rallied to close the final margin to six.
In the Falcon victory, Marie Lupe finished with a game high 16 points, despite shooting only five-of-16 from the field.
Michelle George and Noel Hinton, the Falcons two veteran leaders, combined for just 17 points. George did, however, have five steals.
For the Lady Horns, Kayla Morgan was the only double-digit scorer finishing with 14 points. She also was credited with team high 12 rebounds during an evening in which Payson out-rebounded Alchesay 30-28.
Offensively for PHS, Cydney Figueroa finished with nine points, Christina Deaton had eight and Marquel Waterman seven.
Having only five players break into the scoring column was unusual for the Lady Horns, who usually thrive on a well-rounded attack.
Payson's surprising loss to the Falcons renders a pair of upcoming East road games, Jan. 18 vs. Snowflake and Jan. 22 vs. Show Low, doubly important in the regular season title chase.
A loss to either the Lobos or Cougars could be a setback from which the PHS girls would find it tough to recover.