Tough Paonia squad sinks Hayden girls basketball at districts

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— Slow first and third quarters against a solid Paonia squad spelled out a season-ending loss for the Hayden High School girls basketball team in its district tournament pigtail game Tuesday night.

The Tigers were the No. 7 seed and drew a tough first-round matchup with a 15-4 Paonia team that was on a roll, winning nine of its past 10 games. Hayden lost, 55-28.

“It was just a slow start,” Hayden coach Michelle Wilkie said. “Paonia is a great team and they are very disciplined, and I appreciate that. They are very competitive.”

Wilkie loses just one player — Olivia Zehner — from a junior-loaded roster and already is looking forward to next season with an experienced group that battled a rough 2013-14.

“We have to start already for next year,” Wilkie said. “We did some good things this year, we made some good growth and met some goals we set.”

In the loss Tuesday, Taylor Hagar scored seven points, Kara Cozzens scored five, and Chancey Graham pitched in three.

Hayden finished the season 6-13.

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

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