Snowflake Shakes Off Rust To Rout Longhorn Boys

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William Youngberg of Payson goes up for a rebound against Snowflake on Friday night.

Things started so well for the Longhorns.

Payson’s boys basketball team led visiting Snowflake 21-13 with 4:28 left in the first half on Friday night.

But things kind of fell apart from there.

Well, really fell apart.

The Lobos outscored the home team 13-3 the rest of the quarter to take a 26-24 halftime lead as Ty Reidhead put Snow­flake ahead to stay 26-24 on a layup with 52.9 seconds before intermission.

And Payson’s offense was nowhere to be found in the third quarter as Snowflake (12-4 overall) scored the first 22 points of the period to go up 48-24 before Chaz Davis hit a free throw with 1:34 left in the quarter to end a 6:26 scoring drought.

The Lobos, who are No. 3 in the Division IV power rankings at 4-0, outscored PHS 24-6 in stanza and 16-8 in the fourth quarter to win 66-38.

“It was a tale of two halves,” said Payson coach Joe Sanchez. “We wrote three words on the board before the game: defense, execute and heart. And the our boys did it for one half.”

While Payson played five games over the break, it was Snowflake’s first game in 18 days. That layoff was likely a key factor in the Lobos’ slow start.

Sanchez said it wasn’t that Snowflake changed up its defense in the third quarter, but that his players just didn’t play the way they need to play against a strong team in the second half.

“I don’t feel like they did anything different,” the coach said. “I don’t know if we relaxed and we were just satisfied at being down by two to the No. 4 team in the state, but we have not put four quarters together all season.

“It’s definitely mental with these guys. These are great kids and I love them to death, the coaching staff loves them. We’re just in a funk right now. We, as a team, need to become mentally tougher to be able to play in these close games and stay in them.”

Rick Shumway scored 18 points to lead Snowflake, which shot 47 percent from the field (27 of 58) and had all 13 players score. Kegan Kay added nine points and Luke Lewis eight points, seven rebounds and two blocked shots.

Chaz Davis led Payson with nine points. Austin Young had five points and five assists and two steals. Kain England had five rebounds to lead the Longhorns on the glass. However, they had only 13 more rebounds.

Payson shot 34 percent from the field (12 of 35) and had 22 turnovers against Snowflake.

Young was named to the all-tournament team in the Bradshaw Mountain Tourna­ment that Payson went 0-5 in on Dec. 26-28.

“To my knowledge, there’s only been one other Payson athlete, Mike Barr, and that was 10 years ago, to get an all-tournament team in that tournament,” Sanchez said. “We go there every year and we’re by far the smallest school every time we go. Our goal is to have them play better competition where it doesn’t matter, to get ready for our league games.”

PHS, which fell to 6-10 overall and is No. 42 in the Div. IV power rankings at 2-3, will look to rebound at Goodyear Estrella Foothills tonight at 7 o’clock. The Horns are at Blue Ridge at 7 p.m. Thursday before playing host to Show Low at 7:30 p.m. Saturday.

Payson 38, Snowflake 66

Snowflake 66 — Jordan Gardner 1 0-0 2, Kegan Kay 4 0-0 9, Luke Lewis 4 0-2 8, Kurt Wood 1 0-0 3, Tanner Crosby 2 0-0 4, Porter Black 0 1-2 1, Ty Reidhead 2 2-4 6, Dallin Fusselman 2 0-0 5, Rick Shumway 7 2-5 18, Travis Flake 2 2-2 6, Gunner Caldwell 0 0-0 0, Keegan Bjornn 1 0-0 2, Everett Lunt 1 0-0 2. Totals 27 7-15 66.

Payson 38 — Austin Young 1 3-4 5, Chaz Davis 3 2-4 9, Kain England 1 2-5 4, Matt Davis 2 1-2 7, William Youngberg 1 2-2 4, Ruben Estrada 0 0-0 0, Spencer Herrera 1 0-0 2, Hunter Harrison 0 0-0 0, Braden Hancock 0 0-0 0, Ryan Wacker 1 0-0 2, Jacob Dixon 0 1-2 1, Jared Varner 2 0-0 4. Totals 12 11-19 38.

Snowflake 10 16 24 16 – 66

Payson 11 13 6 8 – 38

3-point goals — SF: Kay, Wood, Fusselman, Caldwell 2, Shumway 2. P: C. Davis, M. Davis 2.

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