The surprising Show Low Cougars sprung the upset of the boys high school basketball season, ambushing Window Rock 49-47 in the second round of the Division III state tournament in Prescott Valley.
The Cougars entered the postseason as a lowly No. 16 seed, while the Fighting Scouts took a 27-4 record and the No. 1 seed into the tournament that tipped off Feb. 12 and will wrap up with the championship finale Feb. 23 at Jobing.com Arena in Glendale.
During the course of the regular season, the Cougars nipped the Horns twice. On Jan. 8 in Wilson Dome, Payson dropped a 77-76 heartbreaker and on Feb. 6 in Show Low, fell 61-56 in a game that either team could have won.
While the Cougars earned a berth into the sectional and state tournaments, the Horns were left on the outside looking in with a 10-17 record.
In the opening round of the girls D-III state tournament on Feb. 13 at the Wildcat Den in Chinle, No. 20 Payson was edged 52-46 by No. 13 Chinle.
The loss eliminated PHS from the tournament.
No. 1 seeded Winslow, a town where girls basketball reigns supreme, had a bye in the tournament’s first round and defeated No. 16 Monument Valley, 62-30 in the second round.
The Bulldogs quest for yet another state title continued last evening, Feb. 18, in Prescott Valley against No. 8 Safford (Results not available at press time).
Also alive in the tournament are No. 2 Valley Christian, No. 3 Window Rock, No. 4 Tuba City, No. 6 Page and No. 23 Gilbert Christian.
In the boys tournament quarterfinals played yesterday, Show Low played No. 9 Valley Christian. Also, No. 21 Fountain Hills took on No. 4 Snowflake, No. 6 Estrella Foothills played No. 3 Scottsdale Christian and No. 7 Cortez played No. 2 Gilbert Christian.
On Feb. 6, Cortez wrapped up the regular season with an 89-71 win over Payson thanks to 36 points, 8 steals and 5 assists from 5-foot, 8-inch point guard Jorrell Smith.