Hayden girls basketball team looks to return to form | SteamboatToday.com

Hayden girls basketball team looks to return to form

Lady Tigers set sights on return to state playoffs

Luke Graham

— Expectations are the lifeblood of most prep sports programs at this juncture of the season. But hang around the Hayden High School girls basketball team long enough and those expectations seem to have a lot of credibility.

The Tigers might have the best player in the Class 2A Western Slope League in Erin Koehler. And with returning starters such as first team all-league selection Delanie VeDepo and fellow guard Kyra Rolando, the Tigers have the foundation to be one of the best in the Western Slope League.

With what coach Eric Hamilton calls one of his best senior classes and a team that looks like it could be 10 or 11 players deep, it's hard to not get excited for the Tigers' season.

"I really feel like this is the best team talent-wise we've had," said Hamilton, who helped the Tigers to a third-place finish at state two seasons ago. "I really do feel that talent-wise. I don't know if it's having these girls since they were sophomores, but they know basketball. They know what I expect."

Talk of that 2008-09 team fills this team. Most say they want to be as good, if not better, than that team.

But for Hayden to get to that level, it's not hard to find where to start.

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Hamilton said the Tigers' biggest focus this season will be on the defensive end.

He said last year's defense was too complex and got away from what it did best.

With improved bench depth, Hayden should be able to run the full-court defense it did two years ago.

"The games we lost last year were because we were outhustled," Koehler said. "That's not an option this year."

In addition to three returning starters, Hayden should get help from seniors Lindsay Parrot, Morgan Bell, Sierra Ehlers and Cassidy Bush. Add in juniors Brette Frentress, Aubree Haskins and Kelsey Rolando, and Hayden has a chance to be the class of the league.

"This is the strongest team we've had," VeDepo said. "I really think it's stronger than two years ago."

— To reach Luke Graham, call 871-4229 or e-mail lgraham@steamboatpilot.com

2010-11 Hayden girls basketball schedule

Today and Saturday at Meeker Tournament, TBA

Dec. 11: 2:30 p.m. at Vail Christian

Dec. 14: 6 p.m. vs. Olathe at Palisade

Dec. 17: 7 p.m. vs. North Park

Jan. 4: 7 p.m. at Basalt

Jan. 6: 5 p.m. at Moffat freshmen

Jan. 7: 7 p.m. vs. Meeker

Jan. 11: 6:30 p.m. at Baggs, Wyo.

Jan. 14: 7 p.m. vs. West Grand

Jan. 15: 4 p.m. at North Park

Jan. 22: 2:30 p.m. vs. Vail Christian

Jan. 25: 5 p.m. vs. Moffat freshmen

Jan. 28: 7 p.m. at Soroco

Jan. 29: 4 p.m. at Rangely

Feb. 4: 7 p.m. at Plateau Valley

Feb. 5: 4 p.m. vs. Paonia

Feb. 11: 7 p.m. vs. Soroco

Feb. 12: 4 p.m. at West Grand

Feb 17: 7:30 p.m. vs. Baggs, Wyo.

Varsity roster

Kyra Rolando

Delanie VeDepo

Lindsay Parrot

Morgan Bell

Sierra Ehlers

Cassidy Bush

Brette Frentress

Erin Koehler

Aubree Haskins

Kelsey Rolando

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