A pair of lopsided wins over Heber Mogollon and Sequoia Charter High School has improved the Lady Longhorn basketball team’s record to an impressive 3-0 and keeps the team one of only seven of 60 Division III schools still undefeated.
On Nov. 27 in Heber, Payson steamrolled the homestanding Mustangs 64-9 and three days later in Wilson Dome annihilated Sequoia, 71-11.
Admittedly, neither of the Lady Horns’ opponents were particularly formidable, but outscoring the two foes by a 135-20 margin is a head-turner.
In the win over Mogollon, coach Jen White praised senior Chioya Hill for corralling a whopping 21 of the team’s 52 rebounds. Hill, who White chose to be the “Player of the Game,” also finished with three steals and 11 points.
“She was truly amazing,” said White
About the only glitch in her game was her field goal accuracy — she hit just 2-of-11 shot attempts.
But Hill is coming off an injury, the season is in its infancy, and White fully expects her accuracy to improve as the season wears on.
Offensively, PHS turned in a well-rounded scoring attack with three players, Alix Parker, Arisa Paulson and Hill, finishing in double figures.
The sharp-shooting Parker led the team with 17 points that included 3-of-3 shooting from “downtown” or beyond the 19-foot-9-inch arc. Arisa Paulson, only a freshman, finished with 12 points and was second on the team in rebounds with nine.
Her older sister, Arianna — a star pitcher on last season’s state final four softball team — tallied six points and was a defensive disruption pilfering 11 of the Lady Horns’ 22 steals.
White called her defensive prowess simply, “amazing.”
Harley Turney was the consummate teammate dishing out seven assists to go along with her eight points.
In the win, the Lady Horns got off to a sluggish start leading only 9-5 early on.
But in the second quarter, PHS broke loose with 11 points to build a 20-8 cushion.
“We did not play well in the first half but finally figured it out,” White said.
In the third, PHS went all-blitzkrieg scoring 44 points to salt the game away.
Charter school dumped
In the win over Sequoia, a school Payson has never played before in any sport, Turney garnered “Player of the Game” laurels after taking scoring honors with 20 points. She also had five steals and contributed four assists.
Hill again led the team in rebounds with 10 to go along with her 11 points.
Arisa Paulson also scored 11 points and contributed five rebounds and three steals.
With eight points, seven rebounds, three assists and two steals, Arianna Paulson turned in a fine all-around game.
In the blowout, the Lady Horns jumped out to an early 19-3 lead and expanded it to 42-8 at halftime allowing White to give plenty of playing time to reserves.
Next up for the Lady Horns is a visit today, Dec. 4, to Cottonwood to take on the 3-2 Mingus Marauders, a Division II school.
Mingus is fresh off a 57-7 win over Northland Prep, but has lost this season to Salt River, 49-46, and to Queen Creek, 60-42.
Game time is 5:30 p.m.