Hayden girls basketball tops De Beque by 42

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Hayden girls basketball, 2008-09

It wasn't necessarily the tune-up the Hayden High School girls basketball team was looking for heading into the district tournament Saturday.

Regardless, Tuesday's game against De Beque was on the schedule, and like many games before it, Hayden easily ran away with a 76-34 win. This one, however, might stick in, the memories of the Tigers players for a little bit longer.

The winless Dragons showed up with a team of five players. But with just more than a minute left in the first quarter, a De Beque player hurt her leg, leaving the team with four players.

In an interesting dilemma, Hayden coach Eric Hamilton decided to play with four players, leaving one on the court near the scorer's table.

"I had to ask the referees about what to do," Hamilton said. "I didn't want to go 5-on-4, but that worked pulling a girl. I was hoping for 5-on-5 so we could run our plays. But everybody got to play and everybody got to score."

All 13 Hayden players scored, with nine players scoring at least five points. The Tigers were led by 12 points each from Holli Salazar and Erin Koehler.

"I felt bad for them, but there was nothing we could do about it," Hayden junior Jarah Woodley said. "We just had to go out and play."

The Tigers (18-1 overall) had all but decided the game in the first quarter. Hayden jumped out to a 20-5 first quarter lead and extended it to 35-12 at halftime.

Hayden finished the game shooting 35 of 79 from the field, including four 3-pointers.

Now, Hayden turns its attention to Saturday's opening round of the district tournament, which brings the team's third go-round with cross-county rival Soroco High School.

Hamilton said at this point, the Tigers can't overlook any team, even though they beat the Rams twice this season by a combined 46 points.

"They're scrappy and tough," Hamilton said. "We're going to change some things from last time we played them. They're scrappy for sure. I'm confident, not overconfident, but the girls really want it bad."

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