Hayden girls basketball struggles in Saturday doubleheader

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— Playing a complete game is plaguing the Hayden High School girls basketball team’s early season win-loss column. On Saturday, trying to stack back-to-back complete games in a rare hoops doubleheader proved to be too much for the Tigers on the road.

In the first game, Tigers coach Michelle Wilkie said her team simply got off to a crippling start, trailing by 10 early on. The next three quarters showed promise, but Hayden dropped its third straight game, 49-37, to Saratoga.

“If we could have just made that first quarter go away, that would have been great,” Wilkie said.

Olivia Zehner led the Tigers with 11 points, while Taylor Hagar and Chancey Graham each pitched in eight.

The back half of the day — though on the scoreboard showed another Hayden loss, this time 51-39 to Encampment — Wilkie said was as close to a win as the Tigers have had in the early season.

“Let’s just say we played better,” Wilkie said. “I thought we were going to get one out of our second game. It was our win, in a way. It was the best we’ve played all year.”

The Tigers were down 14-6 early and trailed by six at halftime. Heading into the fourth quarter, though, Hayden faced just a three-point deficit.

Still, after three quarters of promise and multiple players getting in on the scoring action, a troubling fourth quarter did Hayden in.

“We played consistently for three quarters, but petered out in the fourth,” Wilkie said. “Playing a complete game is our struggle.”

Kara Cozzens chipped in a team-high 10 points, and freshman Grace Wilkie had eight of her own.

Hayden will be back on the court Tuesday against De Beque.

To reach Ben Ingersoll, call 970-871-4204, email bingersoll@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @BenMIngersoll

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