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Cole Belcher (right) has the ball knocked from his hands as he approaches the basket early in the second period. The Longhorns dominated play in the first half, stealing and scoring at will.

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Longhorn teams earn needed wins over Mogollon Mustangs

Both the Payson High School boys and girls basketball teams picked up much-needed power points with victories over the Mogollon Mustangs on Wednesday, Jan. 25 in Wilson Dome. The Lady Longhorns, who are trying to move up from 10th to at least eighth position in the standings in order to qualify for the Section III postseason tournament, corralled the Mustangs 49-20. The boys team, which will qualify for the sectional tournament barring a catastrophic late-season collapse, hog-tied the ’stangs 75-54 behind Cole Belcher’s game high 18 points. Senior point guard Guillermo Lopez contributed what might have been his best all-around floor game with 12 points that included 2-of-3 three-point shooting, four rebounds, two blocked shots, one assist and a steal. The outcome of the game was never in doubt as Payson jumped out to a 23-9 lead after the first eight minutes and expanded it to 41-16 at halftime. With the wins, the boys team improves to 14-8 and the girls are now 10-10. The girls return to the hardwood, today, Jan. 27, to host the Miami Vandals in Wilson Dome. The boys travel Jan. 31 to Fountain Hills. Both game times are 7 p.m.

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