Slow starts sink Hayden girls

Slow starts left the Hayden High School girls basketball team in holes it couldn’t dig out of this weekend as the Tigers dropped a pair of games against league opponents.

Hayden fell, 38-30, on Friday night playing on the road against Rangely, then lost Saturday in Hayden against Meeker, 78-33.

“You can’t come out slow and expect to make it all up in the second half,” Hayden coach Michelle Wilkie said.

The problem particularly was damaging against Rangely. The Tigers got 10 points and 15 rebounds from Kara Cozzens, nine points and 10 rebounds from Taylor Hagar and nine more points from Chancey Graham in the game.

The team scored just four points in the first quarter, however, and trailed by 11 at half. That proved too much.

“One thing we did do well was execute a press,” Wilkie said. “We needed to pick it up and change the momentum. We pressed them and created some turnovers. We came out and played, but too late.”

On Saturday, the team again stumbled from the starting block, but there likely wasn’t anything it could have done against one of the state’s best teams. Meeker, shaping up to be the class of the Western Slope this season, blasted Hayden.

“Meeker is a really good team. They’re good, they’re fast and they have a couple of players we just couldn’t stop,” Wilkie said.

She did find a couple of positives, starting with Graham. The junior sank all 10 free throws she took en route to a team-high 14 points.

The team as a whole shot 87 percent from the line.

“Chancey had an amazing game,” Wilkie said. “I was really pleased with that. We didn’t have as many turnovers as we had the night before, so that was a positive thing, too.”

Hayden, 5-8 and 1-4, plays Friday against Kremmling.

To reach Joel Reichenberger, call 970-871-4253, email jreichenberger@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @JReich9

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