Steamboat Springs Hayden girls coach Stephanie Davis got something Tuesday night against Rangely she'd been searching for all year.
In Hayden's 50-46 win, the Tigers' three top scorers all shot double figures.
Emily Whiteman scored 15 points, Holli Salazar scored 13 and Kylee Sweetser scored 12.
"My starting five played well as a unit and took care of business when they needed to," Davis said. "We've been looking for that all year."
Despite the win, Davis said the Tigers (6-5 overall, 2-2 in league play) played sloppy at times and went into halftime trailing by seven points.
Behind the strong defense of Jacquelyn Denker and Jessica Martin, Hayden outscored Rangely, 12-5, in the third quarter to tie the game.
Davis said that in the fourth quarter, Hayden made several free throws to seal the win.
"Last year, we lost all the close games, and this year, we seem to pull all of them out," Davis said. "We have a little better poise at the end of games. They know what to do in a close situation now."
On the boys side, Hayden dropped another close game. This time, the Tigers lost, 48-45, to Rangely.
Hayden coach Shawn Baumgartner said the Tigers (3-8, 1-3) played well in the first quarter, but nine second-quarter turnovers led to 18 Rangely points.
Down by five at halftime, Baumgartner said the Tigers cut the Panthers' lead to two heading into the fourth quarter. After Rangely extended its lead back to five, Hayden's Jordan Williams hit a deep 3-pointer to cut the lead back to two with seven seconds remaining in the game.
Rangely made one of two free throws to push the lead back to three at 48-45. Unfortunately, Hayden was unable to get a last-second three-point shot because, on the outlet, the Tigers threw the ball away.
Of Hayden's eight losses this year, five have come by five points or fewer.
Baumgartner said part of that is because the Tigers still are a relatively inexperienced team.
"It's just a matter of playing time with these guys," he said. "We just need to find a way to get over that hump."
Hayden next plays at home against Paonia on Friday. The girls start at 7 p.m., and the boys start at 8:30 p.m.