Boys rally falls short
The boys basketball team's home game vs. Show Low on Jan. 11, 2014. The Longhorns made a furious fourth-quarter comeback bid but weren't able to win.
The Longhorns took a big step forward by stunning No. 10 Blue Ridge 56-48 in boys basketball in Lakeside on Thursday night.
Ending a seven-game losing streak with a win over anybody is a big deal. Doing so against a 17-2 team is obviously more significant.
Payson had struggled to put together a complete game. But that’s exactly what the Horns did in Lakeside.
“This is the first time we put all four quarters together,” said Payson coach Joe Sanchez.
PHS was looking to build on the positive performance two nights later in a home court showdown with a Show Low team at No. 23 in the power rankings. Although the Longhorns pushed the Cougars (13-7 overall, 6-2 power ranking games) until the end, they weren’t able to pull off another upset as Show Low won 58-52.
However, after starting slowly, the home team brought the home crowd to its feet several times with a fourth-quarter comeback bid. PHS was never able to recover after falling behind 15-4 after eight minutes. But the offense got going in the final period. Trailing 40-27 after three quarters, the Horns outscored the Cougars 25-18 in the final stanza, cutting the deficit to four points on a couple of occasions.
“Overall, we saw some good things in the fourth quarter,” Sanchez said. “Hopefully, we showed the crowd we don’t have quit in us. We finally got to show our home crowd our potential in the fourth quarter.
“But in the first half we didn’t come out strong enough. And at the start of the third quarter, we came out really flat. But the fourth quarter, we showed we can play with them and can play together and made a pretty good comeback. But at the end of the day, it wasn’t good enough. It was the hole we dug ourselves the first three quarters.”
Against Blue Ridge, PHS led 21-12 after one quarter, but scored only three points in the second quarter as the Yellow Jackets cut the deficit to 24-22 by halftime. However, the Longhorns outscored the home team 32-26 in the second half, including 15-10 in the third quarter.
Chaz Davis scored 15 points, grabbed five rebounds and dished out three assists to lead three Longhorns scoring in double figures as Payson won for just the second time in 11 games. Kain England had 13 points and 13 rebounds. Austin Young added 13 points, four steals and four assists. William Youngberg grabbed six boards.
Sanchez wasn’t surprised his team was able to beat the Yellow Jackets.
“We felt like they have pretty much the same team that they had last year and we beat them last year at their place by just being physical with them and that’s just what we did,” he said.
The Longhorns used a full-court press to frustrate Blue Ridge.
“We pressed the whole game and they didn’t like it,” Sanchez said. “They got tired. They had a lot of turnovers.”
Turnovers have plagued the Longhorns’ offense this season. But that was not the case in Lakeside. “We’re averaging 25 turnovers a game and we only had seven in each half, which is huge,” Sanchez said. “It’s the first time we felt we protected the ball.”
PHS shot 43 percent (19 of 44) from the field against Blue Ridge. Mckay Berges scored 20 points for the Yellow Jackets. Braeden Dunten chipped in 10 points.
The Longhorns had 21 turnovers in the loss against Show Low. Chaz Davis again led the offense with 23 points. He scored 16 in the fourth quarter as PHS tried to rally. He drained four of his five three-point baskets in the final period as the home team outscored Show Low 25-18 to trim a 40-27 deficit to six points.
The Horns were actually within four points, 48-44, after a Davis shot from three-point range found the net with 3:18 to play. But, following a timeout, the Cougars sealed the victory with a 5-0 run to make it 53-44 with 2:15 to play. Davis’ fifth trey of the night made it 56-52 with 21 seconds to go, but it was too little, too late and the home team couldn’t score again.
Davis scored 21 of his points after intermission as Show Low built a 25-16 halftime advantage. PHS trailed 15-4 after one period.
Chaz Davis added five rebounds and three assists. Young scored eight points, came away with five steals and produced four assists.
PHS shot 33 percent (20 of 60) from the field. The Horns made just 5 of 12 free throws. The Longhorns actually shot better from three-point range (7 of 19 for 37 percent) than from two-point range (13 of 41 for 32 percent).
Matt Davis dished out four assists. England scored six points and grabbed nine rebounds before fouling out with 29.1 seconds remaining and Show Low leading 54-49. Youngberg pulled down eight of Payson’s 36 rebounds.
Junior guard Sam Tate scored nine of his 23 points in the fourth quarter for the Cougars, who won it at the free-throw line. Show Low outscored the Longhorns by 13 points at the foul line, converting 18 of 29 attempts, including 8 of 11 in the fourth quarter. Most of the visitors’ success there was because of Tate, who made 14 of 18 at the free throw line, including 7 of 9 in the final period.
Show Low’s 6-foot-9, 215-pound senior center Jackson Jessop added 13 points. Junior point guard Sean Potter contributed 12 points.
The Longhorns are 7-12 overall and 3-5 and No. 36 in the latest power rankings entering tonight’s 7:30 game at No. 24 Holbrook (9-9, 4-4). They play at Cottonwood Mingus (12-6) at 7 p.m. Thursday. They have a rematch with Blue Ridge at 7:30 p.m. Monday at Payson.
Thursday, Jan. 9
Payson 56, Blue Ridge 48
Payson 56 – Austin Young 3 7-7 13, Chaz Davis 5 2-3 15, Spencer Herrera 1 0-1 3, Matt Davis 2 0-0 6, Kain England 5 3-7 13, Ruben Estrada 0 0-0 0, Jared Varner 2 0-0 4, William Youngberg 1 0-0 2. Totals 19 12-19 56.
Blue Ridge 48 — Tristen Penrod 1 3-4 5, Spencer Hall 2 0-0 4, Mckay Berges 7 6-6 20, Linwood Bourke 0 0-0 0, Nate Miles 1 1-2 3, Adam Padilla 2 2-2 6, Braeden Dunten 5 0-0 10. Totals 18 12-14 48.
Payson 21 3 15 17 — 56
Blue Ridge 12 10 10 16 — 48
3-point goals – P: C. Davis 3, Herrera, M. Davis 2. BR: none.
Saturday, Jan. 11
Show Low 58, Payson 52
Show Low 58 — Sean Potter 4 3-8 12, Sam Tate 4 14-18 23, Curran Nicks 3 0-0 6, Colby Maxwell 0 0-0 0, Brice Rova 1 0-0 2, Jackson Jessop 6 1-3 13, Cade Smith 0 0-0 0, Daniel Brackney 1 0-0 2. Totals 19 18-29 58.
Payson 52 – Austin Young 3 1-2 8, Chaz Davis 8 2-4 23, Spencer Herrera 2 0-0 4, Matt Davis 1 0-0 3, Kain England 2 2-6 6, Ryan Wacker 1 0-0 2, Jared Varner 1 0-0 2, William Youngberg 2 0-0 4. Totals 20 5-12 52.
3-point goals — SL: Potter, Tate. P: Young, C. Davis 5, M. Davis.