Hayden Meeker's Holli Squire started tough and finished tougher, dashing Hayden's come-from-behind efforts Friday night.
The Cowboys defeated the Tigers 64-58 behind Squire's 25 points, including the senior's opening three points of the game and 11 in the fourth quarter and final eight from the field.
"We knew coming in she was the one we had to stop," Hayden coach Donny Rolando said. "Their seniors were better than our sophomores (Friday)."
Despite extending their halftime lead to as much as 13 points in the opening minutes of the second half, the Cowboys could not seal the game.
Without the offensive -- or defensive -- assistance of sophomores Kayla Kostur and Alycia Boyd for much of the second half because of foul trouble, the Tigers pulled to within two in the closing minute of the third quarter off freshman Mariah Doolin's easy lay-in.
"Sometimes I like to drive to the basket," the 5-foot-4 Doolin said.
She had five points in her third varsity game of the year.
Rolando said youth is currently his team's largest obstacle, but he was pleased with how Doolin played in a tough spot, saying she earned future minutes for her efforts and aggressive offense.
Defensively, Rolando said, the Tigers continue to make strides. The only real lapses in Friday's game came in the opening minutes of the third quarter and closing moments of the fourth, as Hayden tried to even the score.
"Defensively we didn't have a bad effort," Rolando said. "We just had too many fouls and put them at the line too much."
And Meeker made Hayden pay, particularly Squire. The senior asked for the ball, got it and didn't give it up, going 4-of-4 from the line in the final 41 seconds of the game, finally locking up the win for Meeker.
Kostur scored a team-high 15 points for the Tigers. Senior Adriana Svoboda added 13, while sophomores Whitney Bell and Lauren Branstetter each chipped in eight.