The Lady Longhorns can be excused if they appear more than a bit rusty when they take to the Wilson Dome court tomorrow, Jan. 3, to take on the Estrella Foothills Wolves.
The rough spots in their game could be due to inactivity. The last time the Lady Horns played was Dec. 18-20 in the Winslow Invitational Tournament.
Since then, the coaching staff and players have been on a holiday break.
Payson enters the game with an 8-4 record and as a favorite to contend for the East region title along with the Alchesay Falcons.
But for Payson to beat Estrella Foothills and dominate the East chase, the players must correct foul and turnover problems that plagued them most of the early season.
In a 51-35 win over Florence, Payson struggled with fouls prompting coach Stacy Anderson to declare, “We were happy to get out of there with a win.”
Although the Lady Horns thoroughly dismantled Holbrook, 46-27, in the season opener, Anderson said she was concerned with an inordinate amount of turnovers.
The coach, however, has been happy with the team’s effort, especially in a 63-27 road win over Scottsdale Christian.
Against Estrella, the Horns will have one of the finest front lines in the region to call upon. It features Jenna Robertson, Christina Deaton and Kayla Morgan. All are capable rebounders, defenders and scorers.
At point guard, Cydney Figueroa has the moxie and experience to pull the trigger on the PHS offense and anchor the defense.
Robertson and Figueroa were earlier selected to the Holiday Hoops all-tournament team when it was played Dec. 12 and 13 in Wilson Dome.
The Lady Horns also have in their arsenal capable role players in Marquel Waterman, Candice Ayers, Rose Hardt and others.
Game time tomorrow is 3 p.m. The varsity game will be preceded by freshman (noon) and jayvee (1:30 p.m.) games.