Hayden girls basketball coach Jayme Adams finally got the effort she was looking for Tuesday. The problem was there was less than three minutes remaining against Snake River when she got it, as the Rattlers escaped Hayden with a 35-32 win.
After the loss, Adams told the team, composed of mostly seniors, she wants each player to give everything she has during the entire game, and they should expect the same of themselves and their teammates.
"This is it for (our seniors)," Adams said. "This should be our year."
If 2004 is meant to be the Year of the Tiger, Hayden (1-3 overall) will need to do a much better job rebounding, passing and defending the perimeter when the league season begins in January.
The Tigers didn't shoot well Tuesday, either, but there will be nights when shots don't fall. There shouldn't be a night when the effort isn't there, Adams said.
Little Snake's Shyla Allen hit two free throws with 2 minutes, 26 seconds left to give the visiting team from Baggs, Wyo., a four-point lead. The Rattlers had a chance to extend their lead on their next possession when Colleen Montgomery grabbed the rebound off Kristen White's missed free throw.
Instead, Hayden got a much-needed stop, and senior Jamie Waugh brought the Tigers to within two, 34-32, on a short jumper with 51 seconds remaining.
Hayden continued its full-court press, and junior Mariah Doolin forced Montgomery to travel, but the Tigers turned the ball over on their next possession. Senior Alycia Boyd got another steal for Hayden, but again, the Tigers couldn't capitalize on the offensive end.
Needing just two points to force a tie and with plenty of time on the clock to create a high-percentage shot, Hayden settled for jump shots at the end.
The Tigers settled for quick jump shots most of the game.
Snake River had just six players suited up Tuesday, and none taller than 5-foot-8. Hayden had the advantage in numbers and height.
"I told them to take it to them down low," Adams said. "I told them to take it to them offensively."
The plan likely would have gotten the Rattlers into foul trouble and forced them to play five players with no rest. Instead, the Tigers came out taking quick shots from the outside. Hayden couldn't convert down low on the offensive rebounds it did get.
Boyd led the Tigers with eight points. Waugh, senior Kim Medvesk and junior Sara Sumerlin finished with six.
Snake River's only real outside threat, junior Krissa Hall, finished with a game-high 13 points, including three 3-pointers. Montgomery and Samantha Schneider added eight each.
The junior varsity game was canceled because the Rattlers had so few players. Adams said participation numbers are dropping among teams in Hayden's league. The Tigers can't relate because they have nearly 30 girls out for basketball, but Adams is disappointed. Future games may have to be canceled, which is unfair to Hayden's junior varsity and freshman players who practice hard and deserve the opportunity to play, she said.
Hayden doesn't play again until 7 p.m. Tuesday against Moffat County's junior varsity. Hayden's junior varsity is scheduled to play the freshmen at 5:30 p.m.
"We don't have a game this weekend, which is good," Adams said. "We have a lot to work on."
-- To reach Melinda Mawdsley call 871-4208 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org