Hayden Donald Rolando knew his Hayden girls basketball team could be successful against a visiting North Park team Saturday night if his defensive scheme worked against two players.
At the outset of the game, Rolando had his team play a triangle and two defense against the Wildcats.
Defensively, three Tigers played a zone, and the other two matched up one-on-one against sophomores Scotland Wattenberg and Erin Robben.
The defensive scheme worked in the first half, but the Tigers dropped the Western Slope league game 72-57.
Despite the defensive effort by the Tigers, Robben scored 20 points and Wattenberg had 17.
"We tried to take those two players out of the game," said Rolando, whose team dropped to a 4-6 record and 2-3 in league. "But their other players stepped up and made shots."
The game was competitive after a quarter of play. The Tigers trailed 16-10.
The Tigers fell farther behind in the second period and trailed at halftime 37-23.
The Tigers would fare no better in the third quarter and were trailing 53-36 going into the final period.
"We had a breakdown on offense," Rolando said of the second and third quarters. "It was a lack of concentration. We have to get more focused on offense."
The Tigers tried to make the game close in the fourth period. Led by a strong performance by sophomore Adriana Svoboda, who had 19 points, the Tigers chipped the Wildcats' lead to nine points, 53-62, with about three minutes left in the game.
The Tigers were unable to get any closer than that. Down the stretch, the Wildcats scored nine points from the free-throw line.
Randy Hodgson, the Wildcats' coach, was happy with his team's performance.
"I'm happy to get out of here with a win," Hodgson said. "Hayden always scares me. They always play hard and are well coached.
"Tonight, we had other kids step up. Although we are a young team, we have more depth than people think."
The Wildcats are now 8-3 and 4-the 1 in league.