Payson High School basketball teams turned in heavily contrasting performances Jan. 15 in Wilson Dome against longtime rival Blue Ridge.
The boys team played what coach Joe Sanchez calls, “Our worst defensive game of the entire year” losing 64-50 to the Yellow Jackets.
Conversely, the Lady Longhorns rallied back from a 21-20 halftime deficit to sting the Jackets 52-39.
The boys effort vs. BR was hampered by the loss of starting shooting guard Guillermo Lopez who injured his knee midway through the game.
Although Lopez was cleared to return to the game, Sanchez says his star was not his usual dominating self and he decided to sit him for the remainder of the game.
Tanner Hintze, Payson’s season-long scoring leader, once again paced the team offensively scoring a game-high 17 points.
In the girls clash, senior power forward Chioya Hill was a one-player wrecking crew finishing with a game-high 23 points, 22 rebounds, four steals and a blocked shot.
Her all-around performance drew coach Jen White’s praise, “She had an amazing night; she was awesome.”
Although the final score indicates a 13-point Lady Horns’ win, the outcome of the game was in doubt early in the fourth quarter when PHS was clinging to a precarious 34-33 lead.
But in the final eight minutes, the Lady Horns outscored the befuddled Jackets 18-6 to nail down the victory and keep PHS in the power points race for advantageous sectional tournament seeding.
In addition to the Lady Horns thriving on Hill’s monster night, the team received fine efforts from Arissa Paulson and Alix Parker.
Paulson finished with eight points, seven rebounds, one block and one assist.
Parker tallied eight points, corralled six rebounds and had one steal and a block.
The Lady Horns return to play today, Jan. 18, at Salt River.
The boys play today at Valley Christian.