Steamboat Springs Inconsistency has plagued the Hayden High School girls basketball team all year, and it was never more evident than in Friday's 58-45 loss to Paonia.
Against Rangely, Hayden (6-6 overall, 2-3 in conference play) had three players in double figures. Friday, the team had one.
After battling back and forth with the Eagles (5-7, 3-2) for the first two quarters of the game Friday night - trailing just 25-24 at halftime - the Tigers looked sloppy on both offense and defense in the second half.
Paonia broke Hayden's press easily and converted six easy third quarter layups on passes over the press to extend its lead to 45-34.
"We need to maintain our poise when things aren't going well," said Hayden head coach Stephanie Davis, whose Tigers were outscored, 20-10, in the third quarter. "We can't have a series of turnovers. That is hurting us."
In the start of the fourth quarter it looked like the Eagles would run away with the game after back-to-back layups over the press by Paonia's Jami Reed, making the score 49-34.
But behind two baskets from Jennifer Epp and a 3-pointer by Kylee Sweetser, Hayden was able to cut the lead to 10 - 54-44 - with 2 minutes, 36 seconds to go in the fourth quarter.
Before Hayden could build any more momentum, Paonia quickly scored four points to put the game out of reach.
Sweetser led the Tigers with 18 points but no other Hayden player could manage to score more than six points.
"That's more of the inconsistency," Davis said. "Kylee has 18, but we don't have that scoring otherwise."
Hayden returns to action today when the team travels to Plateau Valley. Davis said she still thinks Hayden can play with most of the teams in the league.
"We have another tough game (today)," she said. "I think we have everything in place. It's just about execution."