Steamboat Springs Midway through Thursday’s season-opening basketball game, the Hayden High School girls team appeared well on its way to a start to forget.
But the team locked down on defense and benefited from big contributions from a pair of juniors.
Junior Brette Frentress exploded on the offensive end, and junior Aubree Haskins exploded off the bench, propelling the Tigers to a 46-36 victory against Wyoming’s Little Snake River in the first round of a basketball tournament in Meeker.
Hayden plays again at 6 p.m. today against Rangely.
“Snake River was quick and fast, but a lot of our girls stepped up and hit key shots, and our defense just kept us in the ball game,” Hayden coach Eric Hamilton said.
The Tigers trailed by six after a miserable first half in which they scored just 14 points and lost one of their best players to foul trouble. Junior Erin Koehler racked up three fouls in the first half, then added a fourth early in the third quarter.
She returned to play well in the fourth, joining an already ongoing effort to salvage the game.
Frentress finished with 13 points while Haskins, coming off the bench in place of Koehler, added nine.
Still, it was a team affair as nine of the 10 Tigers who saw action got on the board.
Hayden doubled its point total by the end of the third quarter, scoring 14 more, then added 18 in the fourth to provide some cushion.
“The defense was definitely the key to that second half,” Hamilton said. “Everyone that got in there was just going all out. The defense won it for us.”
Rangely defeated Grand Valley to advance to today’s game.