Boys Close On A High Note

England scores 28 as PHS snaps streak

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Kain England drives to the basket for two of his career-high 28 points against Globe on Thursday night.

Kain England picked a good night to turn in one of the best games of his career.

The senior scored a career-high 28 points on senior night at Payson High’s Wilson Dome to power the Longhorns to a 74-66 overtime victory over Globe in the season finale on Thursday night.

The victory snapped a 10-game losing streak and put a positive cap on a difficult season that saw the Longhorns go 8-21. Seven of the 10 losses were by seven points or fewer.

PHS head coach Joe Sanchez said the final win helped ease the frustration of the season.

“It was good to win one of these games, especially for those five seniors,” Sanchez said. “The younger guys in the locker room before the game and at halftime were very passionate saying, ‘Let’s win this for those five seniors.’ And it’s positive for these young guys to be in a close game and win it.”

It was the 6-foot-5 England who led the way.

“He did everything for us,” Sanchez said. “We were trying to get him the ball as much as possible. In the timeouts, he was very vocal saying, ‘We’re not going to lose tonight.’ He put the team on his back and was not going to let us lose.”

England, who scored 27 points in a win over Camp Verde on his 18th birthday in the home opener on Dec. 10, scored nine of his points in the fourth quarter as PHS rallied to force the extra four-minute period with a 20-13 advantage. He also scored nine points in the first quarter to help stake the home team to a 16-13 lead. PHS was on top by 11, 30-19, at intermission.

But Benjamin Hernandez poured in 12 of his team-high 23 points in the third period on four of his six three-point field goals as the Tigers (6-19) outscored Payson 26-8 to carry an 11-point lead into the final stanza. PHS outscored Globe 16-8 in overtime.

Senior Jared Varner added 12 points for Payson and sophomore Chaz Davis, who is normally a starter but didn’t so senior Jacob Dixon could get his second career start, came off the bench to chip in 10 points for the Longhorns, who outscored the Tigers by 13 at the free-throw line. William Youngberg, the other senior, started and scored two points.

PHS won the game despite senior point guard Austin Davis’ injury in the first two minutes, which sidelined him for the rest of the game.

“A guy landed on his foot and it blew up like a balloon right away,” Sanchez said.

Nevertheless, he was a key part of the game.

“He was the biggest cheerleader on the bench,” Sanchez said. “It’s very encouraging when one of your best players goes down to see that player still play a very big part in that win. And his buddies in the huddle and at halftime were saying, ‘Let’s win this for Austin.’”

With Young out, Davis quickly entered the game and switched from his shooting guard role to take over at the point.

The Longhorns finished eighth among nine teams in Section IV with a 2-6 record. Globe was 0-8.

But you’d have thought a section title hung in the balance with all the excitement surrounding the end of the contest.

As the final 0.5 seconds elapsed after Dixon hit the second of two free-throw attempts to end it, his teammates and the home crowd spilled onto the court.

“It was really cool that Jacob Dixon scored the final point of the season,” Sanchez said. “He missed the first free throw and you could feel the emotion in the crowd as the second one bounced three times and went through. And when the buzzer sounded, the crowd ran onto the court and his teammates jumped on him. It was like our boys won the championship.

“That was the loudest I’ve heard the dome all year. The crowd stood up the whole overtime. It was a great experience for the boys to see the crowd really get into it.”

Division III Section IV Boys Basketball

Final standings

Section PR Games

W L GB W L PR

Snowflake 7 1 — 16 1 3

Winslow 6 2 1 13 5 10

Alchesay 5 3 2 12 5 15

Show Low 5 3 2 11 7 21

Holbrook 5 3 2 9 8 19

Round Valley 3 5 4 7 10 39

Blue Ridge 3 5 4 11 7 20

Payson 2 6 5 3 14 43

Globe 0 8 7 5 12 50

Section Tournament at Show Low

Wednesday

Semifinals

No. 3 Alchesay vs. No. 2 Winslow, 5:15

No. 4 Show Low vs. No. 1 Snowflake, 7

Saturday

Championship

7 p.m.

Payson 74, Globe 66 (OT)

Globe 66 – Jaron Duenas 2 3-4 7, David Miller 1 0-0 2, Brodie Dalle-Nogare 7 2-5 16, Benjamin Hernandez 8 1-3 23, A. Deshuel 2 0-0 5, James Webb 0 0-0 0, Jeremy Bahe 6 1-5 13. Totals 26 7-17 66.

Payson 74 – Austin Young 1 0-0 2, Brigham Flake 0 0-0 0, Ruben Estrada 2 0-0 5, Chaz Davis 1 8-8 10, Spencer Herrera 3 0-0 6, Matt Davis 1 2-4 5, Hunter Harrison 0 0-0 0, Kain England 11 6-10 28, Ryan Wacker 1 0-0 2, Jacob Dixon 0 2-4 2, Jared Varner 6 0-0 12, William Youngberg 0 2-4 2. Totals 26 20-30 74.

Globe 13 6 26 13 8 — 66

Payson 16 14 8 20 16 — 74

3-point goals — G: Hernandez 6, Deshuel. P: Estrada, M. Davis.

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