The Hayden boys, looking for their first win since Dec. 20th, traveled to Emporia Tuesday looking to put up a fight and a fight they did put up for two quarters.

Hayden looked like it might be in line for its first win of 2024 and its first Centennial League win when the Wildcats went went into halftime down just 18-14.

“I think we had a great first half,” Hayden coach Trey Brown said.

But Emporia came out the second half and took control, going on a 27-4 run midway through the third quarter and cruising to a 50-24 win.

“We didn’t hit a lot of shots we normally hit, but that’s a credit to them,''Brown said. "They did a great job on defense all night. We have to do a better job of sharing the ball.

"We get too selfish and take too many bad shots, which is why we struggled to score. As well as missing multiple point blank layups. Again credit to them they did a great job of guarding and making things hard for us.”

In Brown’s first year at Hayden the Wildcats have been looking to put everything together for a whole game and not just periods of a game.

“I think the biggest thing for us is can we stay together for 32 plus minutes?'' Brown said. "Handling the ups and downs of a game and just staying together. Whether it’s a bad offensive night or not, we can't lose the things we can control, which is our attitude, our energy and our communication. So if we do those things for 32 plus minutes we will be a tough team to beat.”

The road does not get easier for the Wildcats as they will have road games against Washburn Rural, Junction City, Manhattan, Eudora and a home game against Topeka High.

“The biggest thing is leadership on the court by the guys,'' Brown said. "That's the biggest thing. As coaches we can only do so much, but the on-court stuff has to come from them. We've got to figure out who those guys are and guys we can get behind and look to in big moments and like we talked about defensively we have to be so much better and taking care of the ball as well.

"I think we are like any team, we hurt ourselves when we turn the ball over. Doing those things will help us out and we are staying positive with this group and we feel like we could have a good end of the year.”

Hayden will be at Washburn Rural Friday night.


Hayden  9 5 6 4-- 24

Emporia 6 12 18 14-- 50

Hayden (4-11 0-6)– Padilla 2-6 0-2 5, Ridley 4-9 1-2 8, Colboch 0-6 0-0 0, Hanika 2-6 0-0 4, Becker 0-1 2-3 2, Mitchell 0-0 1-2 1, Deister 0-3 0-0 0, Grace 0-1 1-2 1, Charvat 0-1 0-1 0, Kuta 1-5 0-0 3. Totals 9-38 5-12 24.

Emporia (10-5 4-2)– Seeley 2-4 0-0 5, Peters 7-11 0-0 15, Stewart 3-9 0-0 7, Rech 2-2 0-2 4, Jacob 8-10 0-0 17, Trelc 0-1 0-0 0, Crowell 1-2 0-0 0, Spellman 0-1 0-0 0, Rios 0-1 0-2 0. Totals 23-39 0-4 50.

3-point goals– Hayden 4 (Ridley 2, Padilla, Kuta), Emporia 4 (Peters, Seeley, Stewart, Jacob.


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