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Alex Parker turned in an outstanding effort in the Lady Longhorns’ 57-44 loss to the Fountain Hills Falcons Dec. 20. She made 13 retrieves.

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San Tan makes Holiday Hoops debut

The Lady Longhorns tip off Holiday Hoops tournament tomorrow, Dec. 28, against a San Tan Foothills team that appears to be struggling and is making its first-ever appearance in the holiday invitational. The game begins at 10 a.m. and will mark the onset of a two-day tournament in which 30-plus games will be played. Because San Tan is a relatively new school in Queen Creek, the Sabercats are somewhat of an unknown in prep basketball circles. The team sports a 4-11 record and opened with a trio of losses before rebounding on Dec. 1 to whip Hayden, 24-20. San Tan has taken its lumps in a handful of games losing 42-12 to Sandra Day O’Connor, 69-43 to Coolidge and 59-20 to Apache Junction. For Payson to win and advance to the second round of Holiday Hoops, the defense must contain a pair of the Sabercats’ finest players — 5-foot-4-inch point guard Rubelle Garay and Jackie Barlow, a 5-foot-4-inch guard and team captain. Barlow averages 14.4 points per game and Garay scores at an 11.3 ppg clip. Scouting reports indicate both are threats from beyond the three-point line. Combined, they have put up an amazing 138 three-pointers and made good on 44 of the attempts. The pair are also the team’s two leading ball handlers and are obviously adept at drawing fouls. Garay is 36 of 52 from the line and Barlow has been at the charity stripe 79 times making 46. While the team also sports a 6-foot center in Mackenzie Nims, she’s not much of a scoring threat having shot only seven times in 15 games.

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