Hayden girls hoops beats Rangely, 48-39

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— The Hayden High School girls basketball team shined in what was its toughest test so far in the Western Slope League season Saturday, riding a big third quarter to a 48-39 victory against Rangely.

The Tigers entered the game ranked No. 7 in the state, just ahead of homestanding Rangely, No. 8. Hayden proved the rankings justified by turning a five-point advantage into a 13-point one in the third quarter.

“We were able to break their press a little better in that third quarter and took more control of the game,” Hayden coach Eric Hamilton said. “We built that lead pretty big, and we were able to hang on.”

Hayden’s Kyra Rolando scored 11 points, and Erin Koehler had 10.

The team, 12-2, returns to action Friday against Plateau Valley before facing defending state champion Paonia on Saturday in Hayden.

“We didn’t celebrate this much,” Hamilton said. “We were excited, but now we know we have a hard week of practice.”

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