A Lady Longhorn win tonight, Dec. 13, in Snowflake could receive an unexpected boost from a lull the Lady Lobos might be suffering due to a highly emotional 59-58 double overtime win on Dec. 10 against archrival Round Valley.
Sometimes prep teams fall into a type of funk after playing in such an emotionally draining showdown and that could be just what the doctor prescribed for the 3-1 Lady Longhorns.
But, the Lady Horns can’t depend on a Lobo huff and must be prepared to contain Snowflake’s big two of Natalie Elkins and Lisha Titus. The two are double-digit scorers and are rapidly earning a reputation as being a pair of D-III, Section I’s finest players.
Payson harbors upset hopes over the Lobos partly because the team is coming off an impressive 51-43 spanking of a very good Miami Vandal team that now stands 6-3 overall.
In Payson’s win, the team struggled early, allowing the Copper City ruffians to forge out an early 12-10 lead.
But in the second quarter, the Horns came out on fire, outscoring Miami 17-5.
The two teams played on relatively even terms in the second half, which allowed the Lady Horns to cling to the double-digit lead they had built up in the second stanza onslaught.
For PHS, Teanna Lopez had the hot shooting hand, finishing with a game high 21 points. In leading the scoring parade, Lopez held nothing back from beyond the 19-foot-9-inch arc, launching 10 three-point attempts and cashing in on three of the long-range bombs.
Chioya Hill was the Lady Horns’ only other double-digit scorer finishing with 10 points.
Alex Parker was perfect from the field and free throw line hitting 2-of-2 from both positions to contribute six points to the PHS cause.
From the line, Payson shot a respectable 8-for-12.
In addition to Lopez’s offense, she dominated on the boards corralling 10 of the Lady Horns’ 28 rebounds. Hill retrieved six missed shots.
Defensively, Harley Turney turned into a devilish whirlwind with four steals. She also led the team in assists with three.
Payson’s only loss this season was inflicted Dec. 6 by Mingus to the tune of 75-57.
“We had them at (the) half, but they pulled away in the fourth quarter,” said first-year coach Jen White. Teanna Lopez led the pack with 20 points, followed by Chioya Hill with 10.
After the loss, the coach also cited Molly Davis saying she played like “a true captain with strong defense, eight points and four assists.”
Following today’s showdown in Snowflake the Lady Horns travel Dec. 16 and 17 to the Wickenburg Girls Invitational.