Hayden senior Holli Salazar moves the ball up court in Friday night's game against Soroco. Salazar had 16 points in the first half and helped spark the Tigers to a 73-42 win against the Rams.

Photo by John F. Russell

Hayden senior Holli Salazar moves the ball up court in Friday night's game against Soroco. Salazar had 16 points in the first half and helped spark the Tigers to a 73-42 win against the Rams.

Hayden girls basketball has 5-0 record for season

Hayden has 5-0 record for season

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Soroco senior Traci Schlegel drives through Hayden's defense in the second quarter of Friday night's game in Hayden. Schlegel's five first half points helped to keep the Rams close, but Hayden pulled away in the second half en route to a 73-42 win.

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Soroco senior Sarajane Rossi looks for an opening in the Hayden defense during Friday night's game in Hayden. Rossi had 19 points in the game, but Hayden won, 73-42.

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Hayden junior Jarah Woodley drives toward the basket in Friday night's 73-42 win against the Soroco Rams in Hayden. The win improved the Tigers record to 5-0 this season.

Hayden girls basketball, 2008-09

Game statistics

Hayden 14 19 12 28 - 73

Soroco 8 13 9 12 - 42

— The Hayden High School girls basketball team didn't have its best game of the season Friday at home, but the Tigers still are perfect.

Thanks to Holli Salazar's hot hand and the team's relentless defense, the Tigers improved to 5-0 this season with a 73-42 win against cross-county rival Soroco High School. The young Rams are now 3-2 on the season.

"Their press definitely got to us," Soroco senior Traci Schlegel said after the game. "We haven't played a team that has that much height. We tried to pass it over them, but it just didn't work."

Despite a first quarter filled with turnovers, the young Rams kept things close in the first half. Hayden led, 14-8, after one quarter but in the second, the Rams put together a strong run, pulling to within a single point of the hometown Tigers in the closing minutes of the first half.

"We played with them for a while," Soroco senior Sarajane Rossi said. "But then our mistakes caught up with us."

On the other side of the court, the Tigers applied a constant stream of pressure forcing the Rams into making more than a few key turnovers. The Tigers also leaned on Salazar, who led the team with 16 first-half points. She was also the Tigers top scorer of the night with 20 points.

"It feels good," Salazar said after the game. "Last year, we lost to them here at home. This year, we are determined to win our home games."

Although Salazar dominated the scoring in the first half, she got some help from teammates Kyra Rolando, who had five points, and Jarah Woodley, who chipped in four. Rachael Koehler, Elaine Cromie, Caitlin Mahanna and Kylee Sweetser all had two points in the half.

Rossi led the Rams with seven points, including two baskets from behind the three-point line in the first part of the game. She finished with 19 points. Freshman Lindsay Miles and Schlegel both had 5 points in the half.

But in the second, the Tigers took control of the game.

Salazar only scored four points down the stretch, but she got some help from several teammates. Rolando pumped in 11, and Woodley added nine to keep the Tigers rolling. Sweetser also finished with 6 points.

"They're young, but they hustled and played a good ball game. I think we just overpowered them toward the end," Hayden coach Eric Hamilton said. "We didn't play a very good ball game until the third quarter. We've got to clean it up for Rangely if we want to keep winning."

Hayden will take the court against Rangely today at 4 p.m. in Hayden. Hayden defeated Rangely, 49-40, when they faced each other Dec. 5.

"They are very quick," Hamilton said about Rangely. "They can move the ball around well, and they gave us a good test at the Meeker tournament."

Soroco looks to get back on track against Vail Christian. The girls are scheduled to tip off at 3 p.m. The boys will take the court at 4 p.m.

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