A barnburner should unfold when the fourth-seeded Lady Longhorn basketball team plays host to fifth-seeded Show Low in the opening round of the Class 3A East Region postseason tournament.
The game, which was announced late last week by region athletic directors, will be played 7 p.m., Wednesday, Feb. 9 in Wilson Dome.
Payson, Show Low and Blue Ridge finished the East campaign with identical 2-8 records and tied for fourth in the final region standings.
Payson, however, received a higher seed than Show Low and the right to host the game on a tiebreaker based on power points.
The Lady Horns earned 52.7948 points and were ranked 20th among the conference’s 26 teams. With 49.6087 power points, Show Low trailed Payson in 21st place.
In other first round games tomorrow, Wednesday, Feb. 9, No. 6 Blue Ridge travels to No. 3 Alchesay.
No. 1 Snowflake (10-0) and second-ranked Round Valley (7-3) received first round byes.
In the second round at 5 p.m., Friday, Feb. 11 at Blue Ridge High School, the winner of the Payson vs. Show Low clash will take on Snowflake.
At noon also on Friday, Feb. 11, the survivor of the Alchesay vs. BR skirmish takes on Round Valley.
The region championship game is set for 5 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 12 at BRHS.
A third-place game will be played at noon on that same day.
When Show Low and the Lady Longhorns battle tomorrow the two teams will be no strangers to one another having met twice in the regular season.
On Dec. 11, 2010 in Show Low, the Lady Cougars prevailed 38-29.
On Jan. 10 in Wilson Dome, the PHS girls enjoyed a bit of revenge pinning a 54-31 loss on the Cougars.
Although the results of those two games most likely means the outcome of the region tournament opener is up for grabs, PHS athletic director Rob Varner is calling the showdown “a very winnable game” for the Lady Horns.
A part of his optimism might be because some team members who have been sidelined with a variety of maladies are finally healthy and have returned to the lineup.
Kayla Perry, who was out several weeks with an ankle injury, returned Jan. 28 in a 57-38 loss to the homestanding Snowflake Lobos.
“It was nice to have her back in action,” said coach Kelly Krieg. “We hope to have her more toward 100 percent when we begin regionals.”
Teanna Lopez, one of the team’s leading scorers all season long, also returned to the lineup vs. the Lobos, tallying a team-high 17 points, corralling nine rebounds and pilfering four steals.
Several other players, including Jaymi Carlen and Chioya Hill, appear to be rounding into top form just in time for the postseason.