Hayden High School senior Caitlin Mahanna is bumped out of the way by Rangely's Audrey Hogan on Saturday morning as the Tigers lost for the second time in the district tournament. Despite finishing fourth in the eight-team field, Hayden advances to next week's regional tournament.

Photo by Joel Reichenberger

Hayden High School senior Caitlin Mahanna is bumped out of the way by Rangely's Audrey Hogan on Saturday morning as the Tigers lost for the second time in the district tournament. Despite finishing fourth in the eight-team field, Hayden advances to next week's regional tournament.

Hayden girls basketball faces losing streak

Tigers fall to Panthers, 47-36, for 3rd loss of season

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Game statistics

Rangely 47, Hayden 36

Rangely 14-12-6-15 - 47

Hayden 10-11-7-8 - 36

Rangely - Hogan 4 5-8 15, Phelan 6 0-0 12, Slagle 1 0-0 2, Piering 1 0-0 2, Hays 2 2-2 6, Wanstedt 0 1-5 1, Morton 2 5-8 9. Totals 16 13-23 47.

Hayden - Koehler 1 0-0 2, Salazar 7 4-5 18, Cromie 0 0-1 0, Mahanna 1 0-0 2, VeDepo 0 1-4 1, Rolando 0 2-2 2, Woodley 1 4-5 6, Sweetser 1 2-4 5. Totals 11 13-21 36

3-pointers - Rangely (2) - Hogan 2. Hayden (1) - Sweetser.

Hayden girls basketball, 2008-09

It's a situation the Hayden girls basketball team hasn't seen all season, so there's no way to know how it will react.

For the record, the team is not in panic mode after enduring its first losing streak of the season.

Hayden lost Saturday, dropping its third game of the year just a day after it lost its second. The Tigers fell to Rangely, 47-36. Hayden's loss Friday came in its third run in against Meeker. Saturday's game against Rangely was the fourth time those two teams have met this season.

Familiarity certainly has bred competition.

"They're a good team," Hayden coach Eric Hamilton said about Rangely. "They've gotten better every time we've played them. We didn't play very well this weekend, but I thought we played hard today.

"We're still confident. We still want to get to (the state tournament in) Pueblo."

Swept away early in Friday's game, Hayden hung with Rangely throughout Saturday's contest. Still, the Tigers never could establish a lead.

Hayden's best chance came midway through the fourth quarter. Senior Kylee Sweetser made a free throw, then sophomore Kyra Rolando added two more. The gap was just one point, 32-31.

The Tigers scoring disappeared from that point, however, and they couldn't answer at all as Rangely began to extend the lead again.

Two minutes after Rolando brought her team within one, the Panthers had stretched the gap to double digits, 41-31.

Sweetser nailed a 3-pointer in the final minutes, but it didn't jump start the team, and Rangely closed the game out by making 8-of-12 free throws.

"We're disappointed, but still excited to go on to next week," senior Holli Salazar said. "We played some really lazy defense. We need to be better at that."

Hayden returns to action Friday night as it travels to Standley Lake High School in Westminster for the regional tournament.

The Tigers will face the champion of another district, but even after the disastrous weekend they retained some confidence.

"Seeing new teams will help," Salazar said. "These teams have had enough games to study everything we do."

Any turnaround will have to involve a renewed focus on offense.

Hayden's 43-point performance Friday night and 36-point game Saturday mark the two weakest offensive outputs the team has had all season.

Salazar led the way Saturday with 18 points on seven field goals. The rest of the squad made only four baskets.

It all was a far cry from the 56-point per game average the team carried into the postseason.

"Our shots just aren't falling," Salazar said. "We'll be good. We got our bad weekend over with, so we can start back over on Monday and get ready for a new weekend."

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