Steamboat Springs Hayden's Andriana Svoboda got the girls basketball team rolling Friday night as she scored 29 of the team's 62 points in its first game of the season.
Svoboda's 29 points helped the Tigers cap off their opener with a 62-32 win over the Meeker Cowboys. But their first win would be the last of the weekend as they dropped the next two contests at the Meeker Tournament.
The Tigers finished this past weekend in fourth place in an eight-team tournament after falling to 3A schools Fredrick, 67-42, and Cedaredge, 76-44.
Svoboda led the Tigers in scoring for the weekend with a total of 58 points in three games. She was followed by freshman Kayla Kostur, who made her varsity debut with 41 points in three games.
Part of the success of the Meeker game was due to the Tigers' fast-break offense, which Tigers coach Donald Rolando called a trademark of his teams. Defensively, Rolando said a strong zone defense and tough rebounding contributed to the win.
For the tournament, 5-foot-7 Anna Lighthizer led the team with 36 rebounds.
The weekend was a chance for Rolando to test out a team that includes five players in an eight-player rotation without any varsity experience entering the season. Rolando has four freshmen and one sophomore to offset the experience of players like junior Svoboda and seniors Kristen Brown and Lighthizer.
Rolando said the inexperience showed in the second and third game when the Tigers could not come back from conquerable halftime deficits.
In the Cedaredge game, Hayden was down five points at the half, but went on to lose by more than 32 points. And in the Fredrick game, the end of the half saw a 12-point lead by the Warriors, who went on to win by 25.
"In the first game of the year, we played really good. But in the second and third game we had a really good first half and just sort of fell apart in the second. We've got a lot of work to do," Rolando said.
Over the weekend, the Tigers had a chance to scout out their next competition, Baggs in Wyoming, a team that also played at the Meeker Tournament. Similar to Hayden, Baggs lost some key seniors, but has experience returning.
"It's going to be a dog fight. We match up with them really well," Rolando said.