Wednesday, February 21, 2007
In their Feb. 9 meeting, the Hayden girls basketball team hung with Grand Valley for three quarters before losing its steam and losing by 10 points. When the No. 5-seeded Tigers drew the No. 4-seeded Cardinals in the first round of the eight-team Class 2A District 5 Tournament last weekend, they knew they would need to put together a complete game.
Hayden answered with what coach Stephanie Davis called "the best team effort" of the season in a 46-40 upset win Saturday at host school Plateau Valley.
"My whole team played well," Davis said. "Even if it was only for a few minutes, I got contributions from everybody that stepped on the court."
It took the Tigers a little while to get going. The game was tied at 17 at halftime.
Then, Hayden put the pressure on Grand Valley's fast break and started hitting its shots in the second half. The Tigers eventually took a 10-point lead.
"We made some minor adjustments to throw them off, some defensive adjustments especially that shut them down," Davis said. "We were able to put together a good defensive effort the whole game, and the girls adapted well to the changes to shut down their perimeter offense and fast break."
Grand Valley worked its way back into the game, but Davis said her girls hit foul shots down the stretch to secure the win.
Davis credited the defensive play of guards Jacquelyn Denker, Jessica Martin and Kylee Sweetser and the balanced scoring attack of Emily Whiteman, Holli Salazar, Denker and Martin. Whiteman led the Tigers with 12 points.
The win matches Hayden (9-9 overall, 4-5 in district) against No. 1-seed Plateau Valley (17-1 overall) in the second round of the district tournament. The game starts at 6:30 p.m. Friday at Plateau Valley.
Davis said that with a series of high-intensity practices this week, she thinks her team will head into the second-round contest with a similar game plan - to shut down the perimeter and fast break on defense and to "just keep chugging" on offense.
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