Hayden's Erin Koehler pulls down a rebound from Soroco senior Shelby Miles' arms Friday. Koehler had 18 points and fellow Hayden forward Aubree Haskins finished with 17. Their big night was enough to overcome 19 points from Soroco's Madison George.

Photo by Joel Reichenberger

Hayden's Erin Koehler pulls down a rebound from Soroco senior Shelby Miles' arms Friday. Koehler had 18 points and fellow Hayden forward Aubree Haskins finished with 17. Their big night was enough to overcome 19 points from Soroco's Madison George.

Size wins out for Hayden girls basketball against Soroco

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2011-12 Tigers girls basketball schedule

— Things got desperate several times Friday as the Soroco High School girls basketball clashed with their counterparts from across the county.

The Hayden Tigers proved again, as they have through most of the season, that they had a nearly foolproof bailout system.

Soroco led early and rallied from a double-digit deficit to cut the Hayden lead to just one late, but the answer from the Tigers was always the same. They turned to their big forwards, counted on a few swishes from their guards and fended off a strong Rams challenge, winning 62-52.

“I told them to take care of the ball and play their game. They knew what that meant,” Hayden coach Michelle Wilkie said. “The girls kept their composure. They came out and took care of business.”

Koehler finished with 18 and her in-the-paint mate Aubree Haskins had 17. Both were clutch down the stretch, adding nine points between them after Soroco’s Lindsay Miles cut the lead to one, 48-47, with four minutes remaining in the fourth quarter.

Hayden’s Kelsey Rolando added a 3-point shot and fellow senior Brette Frentress sank two free throws, allowing the Tigers to end the game on a 14-5 run.

“When they needed a clutch basket, they know where to get the ball,” Soroco coach David Bruner said.

The Tigers come away from the game with one eye on the looming district tournament, which begins Feb. 21. They play only once more, at 4 p.m. Saturday against West Grand, before embarking on that post-season tour, the first leg of which, if all goes according to plan, will wrap up Feb. 25 with the district finals in Kremmling.

Soroco, meanwhile, is buckling up for another crack at a league-leading team. The Rams welcome Meeker to Oak Creek for a 2:30 p.m. game Saturday.

Success this time around, Bruner said, will rely upon mixing Friday’s good with a more cool-headed approach, one that eliminates a few fouls and a few turnovers.

On Friday, Madison George was again the best of the Rams, leading all scorers with 19 points and captaining that late drive that made things exciting. She had plenty of help, too. Lindsay Miles had 11 points. Jacey Schlegel hit a big 3-point shot to start that fourth-quarter charge and ended with nine while Shelby Miles had seven.

“They had us outmatched height-wise and guard-wise and we were still able to play with them because we fought so hard,” Bruner said. “I was really proud of our girls.”

Game statistics

Hayden girls 62, Soroco 52

Hayden 17-16-12-17—62

Soroco 18-7-9-18—52

Hayden— Amber Sather 2 0-0 5, Jenn Bugg 1 0-2 2, Kelsey Rolando 4 0-0 11, Brette Frentress 2 4-4 9, Aubree Haskins 7 3-4 17, Erin Koehler 6 6-10 18. Totals 22 13-20 62.

Soroco— Shelby Meyer 1 0-0 2, Madison George 8 2-2 19, Lindsay Miles 3 3-4 11, Shelby Miles 3 0-2 7, Jacey Schlegel 4 0-2 9, Jessica Rossi 0 1-4 1, Josie Rossi 0 1-2 1. Totals 19 7-16 52.

3-point shots: Soroco (3) — L.Miles 2, George. Hayden (5) — Rolando 3, Frentress, Sather.

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