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Bloomfield's Halle Payne, who signed with Scottsdale J.C. on Saturday, glad to see NM athletes sign with college teams despite coronavirus pandemic. Farmington Daily Times

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FARMINGTON — Bloomfield’s Halle Payne looks to be a centerpiece player Scottsdale Community College’s women’s basketball program can build around.

The Lady Bobcats shooting guard, who signed with the Fighting Artichokes on Saturday, will join a squad that’s rebuilding after going 7-23 this past season.

Scottsdale C.C., located in Scottsdale, Arizona, doesn’t offer athletic scholarships, but Payne said she’s guaranteed a roster spot.

Payne, who earned First Team All-State honors in 2020 and Second Team All-State honors in 2018, said she can help Scottsdale C.C.’s offense right away driving to the basket and attacking the post with her 5-foot-9 frame.

“I think it would give everyone a different look, creating mismatches,” Payne said.

Payne also said she can help create mismatches on defense, whether it’s an opposing guard or an opposing big, and be active on the boards to set up transition opportunities.

“My length definitely helps me. (I’m) keeping my arms active, keeping my feet ready for the next move,” Payne said.

Going forward, Payne said she wants to take more jump shots so she won’t have to force as many scoring chances in the paint.

“My go-to (move’s) always been driving and getting to the foul line. I think in college, that’s going to be something that’s taken away oftentimes. Being to pull up off the dribble or off of a move will benefit my game that much more,” Payne said.

After a season or two at Scottsdale, Payne looks to transfer to an NCAA Division I or Division II program.

Matt Hollinshead covers sports for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 50556-4577 and on Twitter at @MattH_717.

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