Lady Longhorn basketball players could be facing a juggernaut when they host the Fountain Hills Falcons this evening, Dec. 20, in Wilson Dome.
Although the season is just underway and a true gauge of the state’s teams cannot be made accurately, FH is rolling along with a 9-1 record and could be one of the squads to battle for Division III, Section III honors.
The Falcons’ only loss this season was inflicted on Nov. 29 by Estrella Foothills, 51-46.
Other than that defeat, the Falcons have been almost unstoppable, rolling up lopsided victories over Thunderbird Academy, 100-17; Coronado, 51-18; and Valley Lutheran, 43-7.
The Lady Horns host Fountain Hills fresh off having competed Dec. 16-17 in the Wickenburg Invitational where the team compiled a 2-2 mark.
Payson opened with a gut-wrenching 41-40 loss to host Wickenburg, but rebounded to whip Chino Valley in its second tournament game.
In PHS’s next game, the Lady Horns fell 41-40, prompting first-year coach Jen White to declare, “Apparently 40 or 41 is not a good number for us.”
In Payson’s final clash, the team edged past Lake Havasu 39-37 to finish in, what the coach believes, is fourth place.
“The girls played hard,” White said, “but we started slow in both of our losses and it was difficult to recover.”
While all-tournament selections have yet to be announced, White believes Teanna Lopez could be a choice because she averaged 23 points per game in the tournament.
Choiya Hill dominated on the boards, averaging 16 rebounds per game.
Harley Turney, Molly Davis and Kaitlyn Curtis also drew the coach’s praise for being “really strong leaders and (putting up) solid numbers the entire tournament.”
Following tonight’s game vs. FH, the team will not play again until Dec. 28 when the two-day long Payson Holiday Hoops tournament tips off in Wilson Dome and Julia Randall Elementary School gymnasium.
A field of 16 teams will be participating.