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Arianna Paulson charges the basket during the third quarter against the Lady Mustangs and scores without much opposition.

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Lady Horns looking for strong finish

Lady Longhorn basketball players could be on the outside looking in when the Division III, Section III tournament kicks off Feb. 7 in Surprise. The plight exists because only the top eight teams in section power point rankings will be seeded into the tournament and Payson is currently sitting in 10th place. For the Lady Horns to earn a postseason berth, the team will need a boost in power points that could come with victories in the final four games of the regular season. Ninth-ranked Parker and eighth-rated Cortez are the two teams the Lady Horns must pass to advance to the postseason. Highballing past Parker is very attainable because only about a 1.4 difference in power points separates the two. But Cortez, a Glendale school, holds about a 3.1-point lead over the Lady Horns, which means catching the Colts will take a solid effort in which PHS wins out and Cortez struggles down the stretch. Rendering the Payson task of reaching the postseason doubly tough is the team is without the services of leading scorer Teanna Lopez who was injured two weeks ago and is not expected to return this season.

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