Payson Longhorn and Snowflake Lobo players might soon grow weary of peering into one another’s mugs.
The somnolent emotions could be because the two 3A East Region rivals have collided at almost every tournament the past season and there is no parting reprieve in sight.
For the two biggest shoot-outs of the year — May 3-4 at the East regional tournament and May 10-11 in the state finals — the Lobos and Horns will again clash with plenty of postseason hardware ware at stake.
Of course the Lobos are favorites to three-peat in both tournaments, but PHS should provide the defending champs their stiffest competition.
The two schools went toe-to-toe April 23-24 at the Safford Invitational held at Mt. Graham where the Lobos took the team title with a 455.
Posting a 472, Class 2A Desert Christian was second.
The Longhorns carded a 499 to slide into third in the tough 16-team field.
Snowflake rode the play of low medalist Kyle Jones (106) to the win while Payson was buoyed by a well-rounded effort from three athletes — Cody Waterman, Jeffrey Kelley and Mason Dacanay.
“Cody was good the first day, Jeffrey good the second day and Mason was steady both days,” said PHS coach Bret Morse.
Dacanay was ninth in the 74-player field with a final tally of 125 that included an opening round 41 and an 82 on the second day. Kelley’s second day score of 79 plus his first round of 46 resulted in a 125 and a tie for 15th place with Waterman who finished at 39 and 86.
Also representing the Longhorns were Tyler Apps (131; 45 and 86) and the combined team of Cody Bossert-Anthony Smith (132; 41 and 91).
Apps was 27th overall and the Bossert-Smith duo took 29th.
Bossert played much of the season on coach Denny Morse’s junior varsity and last week, in the jayvee’s final match of 2010, won low medalist honors at Pinetop Lakes.
That performance earned him a shot at varsity play.
Snowflake and the Longhorns hooked up again April 27 at Torreon Golf Club near Show Low where the Blue and White had their way with the seven-team field.
Snowflake emerged victorious with a sterling 306.
The Horns once again had to play second fiddle finishing as tournament runner-up at 359.
Apps paced the PHS effort with a 79. Trailing were Kelley (94), Dacanay (93) and Korth (93).
“It was not a great day for us,” Morse said.
Once again, Snowflake’s Jones took low medalist honors at 71.