Hayden With the District 5 playoffs approaching, the Hayden High School girls basketball team will have to learn from its 59-49 loss to Plateau Valley on Saturday.
The Tigers commited 36 turnovers and shot 21-of-71 from the field in the frustrating contest.
"The next two weeks we need to be working hard and getting better," Hayden sophomore Jarah Woodley said. "I think our hustle was really good, and we worked hard."
Despite Hayden's rough night, the Tigers stayed in it for most of the game. The two teams battled back and forth for the first three quarters, with the Cowboy Girls building their biggest lead in the first quarter, at 13-2. The Tigers battled back to tie the score at 14, 17, 19 and 21, before the Cowboy Girls took the lead for good at 24-21.
Hayden remained relatively close, even cutting the Plateau Valley lead to four at 46-42 with 6 minutes, 52 seconds remaining in the game.
But as was the case all night, the mistakes started to mount for the Tigers.
Hayden committed 12 fourth-quarter turnovers and couldn't capitalize on Plateau Valley's lackluster performance from the free throw line in the fourth quarter.
The Cowboy Girls shot 6-of-15 from the charity stripe in the final frame but were kept in the game because the Tigers weren't much better from the field. Hayden shot 26 percent (5-of-19) in the fourth quarter.
Holli Salazar led Hayden with 13 points - nine of them in the first quarter - and nine rebounds. Caitlin Mahanna chipped in 10 points while Kylee Sweetser added 11.
Hayden now prepares for a 6 p.m. Friday showdown at cross-county rival Soroco.
Woodley said while the loss hurt, there were lessons learned from it.
"I think it will help," she said. "We are learning because we are all pretty young. We'll get better if we keep pushing."