Both Payson High School basketball teams dropped crucial decisions to Division III, Section III rival Fountain Hills in the final games before schools go into holiday recess.
In Wilson Dome on Dec. 20, the homestanding Lady Horns were clipped 57-44 by a very good Falcons team, which is expected to contend for postseason honors.
At Fountain Hills, coach Joe Sanchez’s Longhorn boys took an early lead over FH, but came up short, 65-63, on the final scoreboard.
Prior to the game, the Horns wanted to control the Falcons leading scorer, Jeffrey Bonner, and they did just that — holding him to 16 points, about nine below his average.
But Matt Fisher rose to the occasion to fill in the void, scoring a game-high 25 points.
For Payson, junior forward Tanner Hintze continued his stellar play of late with 23 points and 13 rebounds. Both were team highs.
The Horns were once again bitten by a turnover bugaboo that has hindered them much of the season.
By committing 31 miscues, the team was often its own worst enemy.
Less than a week ago in a 64-56 loss to Snowflake, the Horns committed 28 turnovers.
The clash at Fountain Hills also smacked a bit of some home cookin’ as the Horns were whistled for 18 personal fouls and Fountain Hills was ticketed just seven times.
The Falcons, however, didn’t take full advantage hitting just 8-of-19 free throws.