Paybacks can sting.
Just ask the Show Low Cougars who were beaten 66-58 Jan. 10 by a Longhorn boys basketball team bent on seeking a bit of revenge for a gut-wrenching 43-41 loss to the Cats earlier this season.
In Payson’s loss to the homestanding Cougars, the Horns led 38-27 two minutes into the fourth quarter, but withered in the final minutes allowing Show Low to escape with a win that left the Horn players determined for a settling of scores later down the schedule road.
The Longhorns got the retribution they were seeking Monday in Wilson Dome by jumping out to an 18-8 first quarter lead.
The Horns led 36-27 at halftime and 50-40 early in the fourth quarter.
Sophomore forward Tanner Hintze, who gets most of his points in the paint, paced PHS to the win with 20 points and 13 rebounds. Cale Novack finished with 15 points and Zack Blazer and Justin Moratti had 11 each.
Cole Belcher and Blazer had five rebounds each.
As a team, the Horns recorded a season-high 19 assists. Blazer paced all individuals with 10.
The day after whipping Show Low, the Horns fell 62-42 to a very good 16-4 Blue Ridge team that sits atop the East Region standings and in early December 2010 won the Winslow Cake Chevrolet Shoot Out. In that tournament, BR beat the Horns 57-40.
On Tuesday in Wilson Dome, the Jackets recorded their second win over PHS this season by earning a well-heeled living at the free-throw line.
BR went to the line a whopping 34 times and made good on 27 attempts.
The Horns shot a miniscule four free throws making three.
With lopsided stats like those, fans can kiss Wilson Dome’s so-called “home cooking” goodbye.
Individually, Cale Novack led the Horns in scoring with 13 points and was the only PHS player in double figures.
His performance drew praise from coach Bill Goodwin, “Cale has come on strong in league play and has been our most consistent scorer.”
The coach also lauded him for “playing with good intensity the last four games.”
Cole Belcher contributed three rebounds and Zack Blazer had three assists and two steals. Cameron Romance also had two steals.
Today, Jan. 14, the Horns host the Snowflake Lobos (10-7) in the final clash of a five-day stretch in which PHS played four games.
The two rivals are no strangers having met in Winslow during the Cake Shoot Out.
In that game, the Lobos survived 55-50.
Goodwin called the game vs. the Lobos and the others played this week “a good chance for us to see what we are made of.”
Against Snowflake, the Horns will face an old friend and teammate — Chase Walden.
At the end of the 2010 football season, Walden, a sophomore, transferred to Lobo land were he now plies his considerable hardwood skills especially rebounding and defense.
Even though PHS split two games this week, the Horns are in reasonably good shape on the power points chart sitting 12th with 35.7413 points.
Game time today vs. Snowflake is 7:30 p.m. in Wilson Dome.