Hayden For about five minutes Friday night, the Hayden High School girls basketball team showed what it can do against a league contender.
But for the next three quarters and change, Hotchkiss proved otherwise, taking down the Tigers in dominant fashion, 69-29.
Hayden jumped out to a 7-3 lead early into the first quarter, but Hotchkiss tied the game at seven-all a few minutes later. From there, the Bulldogs jumped out to a 20-9 lead heading into the second quarter and an insurmountable 42-13 margin at halftime.
“The pressure got to them a little bit in that second quarter and so on,” Hayden assistant coach Shelly Barns said.
In a scary moment in the second quarter, freshman Grace Wilkie, Tigers head coach Michelle Wilkie’s daughter, took a hard fall on her back and was carried off the court and reportedly to the hospital.
Wilkie’s sudden departure marked about the same moment the wheels seemed to fall off for Hayden.
“When Grace went out in the first half, I mean, it’s hard to lose your point guard, one of your main players,” Barns said. “It messes up the team morale. Everyone is thinking about that.”
After three quarters, Hayden stared down a 38-point deficit, which grew to 40 by the final buzzer.
The Tigers (4-5) had little answer for Hotchkiss guard Natalie Anderson (23 points) and forward Kylie Hodges (14 points, five rebounds). Five Bulldogs players scored seven or more points Friday night.
On the other end, Hayden was led by junior Kara Cozzens’ eight points and 10 rebounds. Taylor Hagar also chipped in six points for the Tigers.
And if the Tigers were hoping to catch a break and steal a league win, it will be a tall order when they take the court again Saturday afternoon. Coming to town are the Paonia Eagles with a 6-3 record and bragging rights as the defending league champion.
“We need to come back and play better Saturday,” Barnes said. “They need to totally regroup.”
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