Hayden girls basketball trumps Soroco with team effort | SteamboatToday.com

Hayden girls basketball trumps Soroco with team effort

Hayden’s Brette Frentress puts up a layup on a fast break Friday. The Tigers were able to beat Soroco, opening up a big lead in the second half.

Hayden's Brette Frentress puts up a layup on a fast break Friday. The Tigers were able to beat Soroco, opening up a big lead in the second half.
Joel Reichenberger

— Hayden High School's Erin Koehler lounging on the bench in a game typically is either great news or terrible news for the Tigers basketball team. The senior, who leads the team in scoring, usually only takes a seat when her team is way ahead or when she's in deep foul trouble.

On Friday, somehow, Koehler's early absence from a crucial Routt County rivalry game turned out to be both. Her third foul, called in the opening moments of the second quarter, sent a chill up the Tigers' spines. Her team's ability to thrive with her on the bench, however, may have said more about Hayden than any margin of victory.

A cold-shooting Soroco squad couldn't keep pace as Hayden surged to win in its own gymnasium, 52-35.

"It's definitely different not having Erin in the game, but I have confidence in the rest of my teammates to pick it up and do their jobs," Hayden senior Brette Frentress said.

Koehler still finished with 14 points, making it all the way through the third and deep into the fourth quarter before picking up her fourth foul. But it was her teammates who made the difference, none more so than Kelsey Rolando.

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Rolando took advantage of any crack in the Rams' defense to drain 3-point shots, scoring 15 points to lead all scorers. More than simply adding to the tally, though, her five makes swung momentum, the senior's dead-eye accuracy putting a boot to the Rams' throat from 19 feet, 9 inches out.

She hit two in the second quarter after Koehler first went to the bench. One in the third bounced off the back of the rim, hung for an eternity on the front and rolled in for a 31-19 lead, and two more early in the fourth helped put things out of reach.

"She's always been able to shoot," Frentress said. "Her confidence, it's there now. She's playing extremely well."

Soroco this season has been able to overcome several poor shooting performances. That wasn't possible Friday, though.

The Rams were ahead, 9-8, after that seemingly important second-quarter foul, but the team was down, 18-9, in a flash. Senior Madison George powered the team, leading with 13 points. She drove down the court and through the lane with a commanding presence, but on Friday, it wasn't enough to spark her teammates. Sophomore Jacey Schlegel scored 9 points. Along with George, the pair accounted for all but two Soroco field goals.

"We did a lot of what we came in to do, but we were 11 of 54 from the floor and you can't do that," Soroco coach David Bruner said. "I was proud of the way we played defense, but you have to put the ball in the hole."

Game statistics

Hayden 52, Soroco 35

Soroco (8-3)    7-9-8-11 — 35

Hayden (8-3)    8-12-14-18 — 52

Soroco — Madison George 5 2-6 13, Lindsay Miles 0 6-8 6, Marley Hammer 4 1-2 9, Jacey Schlegel 4 1-9 9, Jessica Rossi 0 0-2 0. Totals 11 12-24 35.

Hayden — Kara Cozzens 0 1-4 1, Jenn Bugg 2 0-0 4, Kelsey Rolando 5 0-0 15, Olivia Zehner 0 2-2 2, Brette Frentress 1 5-10 7, Aubree Haskins 4 1-4 9, 6 2-4 14. Totals 18 11-24 52.

3-point shots: Soroco (1) — Madison George. Hayden (5) — Kelsey Rolando 5.

To reach Joel Reichenberger, call 970-871-4253 or email jreichenberger@SteamboatToday.com

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