Tigers girls basketball bounces back with wins

Hayden team takes final 2 tournament games in Meeker

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— A year ago, the Hayden girls basketball team didn’t have to worry about having to rebound from a loss until midway through the season.

That team started 10-0 before dropping its first game. This year’s Tigers had to cope with the problem much sooner. They managed to get it done, too. Hayden lost its first game of the season Thursday night but bounced back by pounding Telluride, 51-24, on Friday and knocking off North Park, 50-46, on Saturday to wrap up the action in the Meeker tournament.

“Coming away, I feel pretty good,” Hayden coach Eric Hamilton said. “The whole team was very disappointed to not get the chance to play for the championship, but we came out fired up Friday night.”

That game was very reminiscent of last year’s run. The Tigers (2-1) got up big early and never looked back. Nine different players scored, and Kyra Rolando led the team with 14 points.

Rachael Koehler helped rescue the team Saturday. Hayden went into halftime down by two points, and Koehler, a senior and one of two starters returning from the team that placed third at the state tournament a year ago, had been held scoreless.

She changed that in a hurry, scoring all 12 of her points in the final 16 minutes. Hayden ran with her hot hand and built a comfortable lead.

“We started going to Rachael a lot more, working the ball around and down to her in the post,” Hamilton said. “I got on her case at halftime, and in the second half, she was really aggressive. We also played really good defense, and everyone was just more aggressive.”

Morgan Bell scored 11 as eight different Hayden players contributed.

The team returns to action Friday night in a game at Soroco.

— To reach Joel Reichenberger, call 871-4253 or e-mail jreichenberger@steamboatpilot.com

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