Work during tryouts and practice is paying off for the Lady Longhorns.
Photo by Andy Towle.
Calling the Lady Longhorn basketball team’s season-opening win over Globe a blowout would be an understatement.
It was, rather a shutout as the Lady Tigers failed to score a single point in Payson’s stunning 51-0 victory.
Shutouts in high school basketball are about as rare as a Tea Party member casting a vote for Barack Obama, but as infrequently as they occur, the PHS girls can boast of having one in their resumé.
So what does the landslide win mean for the PHS girls? Is Globe that bad or Payson that good? The answers won’t be known until further down the schedule road, but the win allowed second-year coach Jen White to give all her roster all-important playing time.
In the win, Payson led 14-0 after the first quarter, tacked on 37 points in the second and cruised to the easy “W.”
Offensively, junior Arianna Paulson — who last spring pitched the Lady Longhorns softball team to its finest season ever and a state semifinal berth — paced PHS with a team high 13 points on 4-of-7 shooting.
She was also 5-of-6 from the free throw line.
Harley Turney, who White named the Player of the Game, finished with 12 points despite not reaching the charity stripe.
Freshman Arissa Paulson, Arianna’s younger sister, contributed eight points, as did Lani Donnell.
Arissa was also a monster on the boards against Globe corralling a game high 15 rebounds. When she wasn’t hauling in rebounds she was the consummate defender with four steals and two blocked shots.
Since middle school, coaches and fans have praised Arissa as a player who could become one of the high school program’s finest ever. One game into the season, she’s living up to the hype.
Arianna hooked up with her sister to help PHS totally control the glass with eight rebounds, second only to her sister.
Marcy Ward, before fouling out, contributed five points, seven rebounds, one block, steal and assists.
While the game was a landslide win for the Lady Horns, White will undoubtedly be focused on improving overall floor play knowing the team committed 24 turnovers, which against a better team than Globe, would be difficult to overcome.
The Lady Horns return to the hardwood today, Nov. 27, in Wilson Dome against Mogollon Heber. Game time is 5:30 p.m.
Because the clash will be the Lady Mustangs’ season opener, not much is known about the team except that it is very young, with five freshmen and two sophomores on the 13-player roster.
The team finished 4-17 last year under Coach Tim Slade, who has been replaced by Tracy Kaminski.