For one Payson High basketball team it’s let the good times roll and for the other, turn out the lights the party’s over.
The Lady Longhorns is the team advancing in the 3A East regional tournament by virtue of a 46-34 win over the Show Low Cougars on Feb. 9 in Wilson Dome.
The boys’ team, however, has been eliminated from the post season by a 69-44 first-round tournament loss to the Alchesay Falcons in Whiteriver. That game was also played Feb. 9.
The Lady Horns now play East region regular season champion Snowflake at 5 p.m. today, Feb. 11, in Yellow Jacket gym at Blue Ridge High School. Snowflake, as the No. 1 seed, had a bye in the first round of the East tournament.
In whipping Show Low, PHS coach Kelly Krieg praised her team’s performance in the crucial final quarter.
“One of the best parts of the game was the poise and composure we had at the end in sealing the victory by being smart with the basketball and making good decisions,” she said.
The coach also praised Molly Davis saying, “She really has done a tremendous job being a leader.”
Davis finished with nine points, three steals and an assist.
“Her hard work and good attitude showed,” Krieg said.
Jaymi Carlen also had a game to write home about with nine points, four steals, three rebounds and two assists.
“She continues to be one of the better guards on the floor each and every night,” said Krieg.
The battle on the boards was dominated by Chioya Hill who corralled 12 rebounds to go along with her two points, two assists and two steals.
The coach also praised Emmee Ashby, Taylor Rizza and Liz Harpe for their performances. Harpe came off the bench to score seven points, Ashby tallied six and Rizza had five.
In the Longhorns’ loss to Alchesay, the Hintze brothers, Tanner and Russ, led the Payson effort with 13 points each.
Tanner, a sophomore, also controlled the boards, hauling in a team-high 15 rebounds.
Justin Moratti contributed nine points and two steals and Jamie Wadington came off the bench to score five points.
Payson opened the game as if the team was going to be a force, taking a 12-10 lead in the first quarter. However, by the time the halftime buzzer sounded, the Horns trailed 29-16.
Payson could never make a late run to get back into contention, falling behind 48-26 early in the fourth quarter.
With the season at an end, the team will gather one final time for the traditional awards ceremony. The date, time and location will be announced soon.