The road to the East Region girls basketball championship might wind through Eagar-Springerville.
At least that’s the opinion of some boosters after the homestanding Round Valley Elks defeated the Lady Longhorns 44-34.
With the win, the Elks improve their region record to 2-1 and remain a threat to take home a region title.
The Lady Horns fall to 1-1 in the East, but with seven region games remaining, Payson has time to make a run at a top finish and a berth in the state playoffs.
Although the Lady Horns fell to RV, coach Kelly Krieg was happy with her team’s performance.
“We had a great effort and really played well for most of the game,” she said.
PHS was, however, done in by Elk star Nikki Buck who is averaging 18.9 ppg.
“She really hurt us,” Krieg said.
Excelling on the hardwood is nothing new for Buck, who last season torched a very good Lady Horn team for 25 points and went on to earn All-State second team honors. As a junior, she averaged 22 ppg.
In Payson’s loss to Round Valley, Maddie Nossek continued her streak of outstanding play, scoring a team-high 10 points to go along with her 11 rebounds and three steals.
Jaymi Carlen also shined with eight points, two steals and two rebounds.
Rylee Halenar turned in a fine all-around performance with seven points, two assists, three steals and two rebounds.
“Jaymi and Rylee play really well together in the back court,” Krieg said.
Freshman Chioya Hill contributed six points and 10 rebounds.
Next up for the Lady Horns is a Jan. 12 date with the Blue Ridge Yellow Jackets in Wilson Dome.