The Lady Longhorns take to the Wilson Dome court this evening hoping to regain some of the luster they showed when opening the season 6-0 and finishing second in the Wickenburg Cage Classic Invitational Tournament.
In recent weeks, however, the Lady Horns have misplaced some of their luster in part due to the inability to deal with pressure defenses.
That shortcoming was never more evident than in Payson’s 41-39 gut-wrenching loss to Blue Ridge in the opener of the Payson-hosted Holiday Hoops Tournament.
In it, the Lady Horns raced out to a 20-10 halftime lead, but after the Lady Yellow Jackets clamped down with a stifling double and triple team full court press, Payson High struggled to score.
Following the Holiday Hoops, the Lady Horns returned to play Jan. 3 in Wilson Dome against archrival Snowflake.
In it, Payson fell behind early 12-6, but trailed only 21-14 at halftime. After closing to within 29-27 early in the fourth quarter, the Lady Horns were outscored 14-5 in the final eight minutes. In the loss, the sister duo of Arissa and Arianna Paulson led all scorers with 10 and 9 points respectively
Chioya Hill chipped in with eight points and Liz Harpe scored two
In the battle on the boards, Hill and Arissa Paulson both corralled 10 rebounds.
Defensively, Harley Turney recorded six steals and Hill had three.
Arissa Paulson also played well on “D” with three blocked shots and two steals.
Turnovers, a bugaboo that has haunted PHS most of the season once again reared its ugly head.
By committing 36 turnovers, the Lady Horns were shooting themselves in the Nikes all evening long.
Payson was also slowed by the loss of two players, Arianna Paulson and Alex Parker, on fouls.
Show Low, coached by Jacci Tinkel, arrives in Wilson Dome this evening clutching 4-10 credentials and probably eager to hang on their long time rival Lady Horns.