Matt Wilson uses his size and strength to defend an opponent working for position. Wilson, a senior, is one of the Longhorns’ leading rebounders, scorers and defenders.
Both Payson High School basketball teams are steamrolling along toward what could be East Region regular-season championships.
With three games remaining in the campaign, the girls are 7-0 in the East and all alone in first place, one game ahead of the Alchesay Falcons (6-1).
The boys team leads the standings with a 6-1 record, a single game ahead of the Snowflake Lobos (5-2).
Both PHS squads have the opportunity this evening, Feb. 3, in Wilson Dome to take another step toward the title, by beating the visiting Blue Ridge Yellow Jackets.
The Jacket boys team is 2-5 in the region and struggling for respectability.
The BR girls are 3-4 but on a three-game winning streak.
The Lady Horns enter tonight’s game on an impressive 11-game winning streak that includes a 45-40 win over Round Valley, Jan. 30 in Eagar-Springerville.
That same evening, also in Eagar-Springerville, the PHS boys dumped the Elks 53-44.
In the win, Cody York took over the East scoring lead finishing with a game-high 21 points. York is now averaging 14.8 ppg.
The Lady Horns leading scorer, Christina Deaton, is averaging 11.6 ppg and is ranked fifth in the East.
In the Lady Horns’ five-point win over Round Valley, which was one of Payson’s closer East games this season, Elk Nikki Buck torched PHS for 25 points. She only shot 6-of-19 from the field, but made good on 12 of her whopping 18 free throws.
Buck is far and away the East scoring leader averaging 22 ppg. Second is Alchesay’s Noel Hinton at 15.2.
Both PHS teams wrap up the 2009 season Feb. 6 at Alchesay and Feb. 7 in Wilson Dome against Snowflake. The regional tournament is Feb. 9 to 13 in Whiteriver. The state tournament, if the two Payson teams qualify, begins Feb. 20 and concludes March 7 with the championship finale in Glendale.