Payson Athletes Earning Honors


The honors continue to roll in for members of the Payson High School boys and girls basketball teams.

The most recent accolades were doled out March 2 during a meeting of the Arizona Basketball Coaches Association held at Phoenix Central High School.

In a voting of coaches, including Payson's Kenny Hayes and Stacy Anderson, Lady Longhorn Christina Deaton was named to the 13-member 3A All-State girl's team.

Also, Robert Walker and Cody York were chosen to the All-State boys' team.

Oliver Lewinson was tapped to participate in the ABCA North vs. South All-Star game.

Walker was named a first alternate.

"Although he's an alternate, he'll probably get to play in it," Hayes said. "Usually, there are one or two kids who can't play for one reason or another.

If Walker is tapped an all-star replacement, he'll join Lewinson on the North team.

The game is tentatively scheduled to be played June 14 at U.S. Airways Center in Phoenix. The arena is the home of the Phoenix Suns.

"That would be way cool to get to play in there," Walker said.

Bob Fredericks of Scottsdale Christian will coach the North team.

For Deaton, her selection to the prestigious all-state team marks the conclusion of an impressive 2007-2008 season in which she led the Lady Horns in scoring averaging 12.0 ppg.

She also averaged seven rebounds a game, doled out 22 assists, chalked up 20 steals and blocked an East region high 87 shots.

"It was very important for us to have him in the middle because it opened up our outside game," Anderson said. "Some teams even tripled team her to keep the ball out of her hands."

Although Deaton struggled with a knee injury early in the season, "she came on towards the end to be a really good player," Anderson said.

The only East players chosen to the all-state team other than Deaton were Round Valley scoring whiz Cassidi Donaldson and Noel Hinton of Alchesay.

Walker's selection to the all-state team and as an all-star alternate marks a vindication of sorts for his being left off the 3A All-State Tournament team.

His exclusion from that celestial squad was a head scratcher mostly because Walker has been the Horns' leading scorer, a team leader and an all-around player at both ends of the floor.

Last season he averaged 11.6 ppg, corralled 4.7 rebounds per game and was second on the team in assists with 57. He also was a defensive stalwart, recording 39 steals. At the conclusion of the regular season, he was selected to the All-East Region first team.

Walker credits his success and comeback from the broken ankle he suffered as a junior to an off-season training regime.

"After I recovered, I worked harder than I ever have to come back," he said. "I think that work brought me up to the level I was."

After graduation this spring, Walker would like to continue his career on the next level.

"Maybe at Central Christian in Kansas or Central College in Iowa," he said. "I'm looking at a couple of other schools too."

Lewinson, a 6-foot, 8-inch forward center, was at his best in the Longhorns' state championship loss to Estrella Foothills.

He led the team in scoring with 19 points, but most importantly dominated in the low blocks both offensively and defensively.

During the regular season he averaged 11.5 ppg and led the Horns in rebounding with 9.6 per game. He also blocked a team high 23 shots, despite missing several games early in the season.

York, a speedy combo guard and forward, who could shoot the three when called upon, averaged 10.9 points and 4.1 rebounds per game.

He also recorded 39 assists and blocked 17 shots.

Neither York nor Deaton were eligible for the ABCA all-star game because both are juniors. Only seniors may participate in the annual post-season classic.

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