HIAWATHA -- The Hayden Lady Wildcats, ranked No. 2 in Class 3A by the Kansas Basketball Coaches Association, got a tough test from Lafayett, Mo. in Saturday's Hiawatha Invitational championship game, earning a 55-45 decision to improve to 11-1 on the season.

HaydengirlsBBHiawatha 1Hayden's girls basketball team poses for a picture after winning the Hiawatha Invitational championsip on Saturday. [Photo by Kyle Grunert/Special to TSN]

Hayden got off to a hot start against the Fighting Irish (St.Joseph, Mo.) going up 17-6 to end the first quarter and went into halftime up 27-20.

It would be a back-and-forth battle the rest of the game, with Hayden maintaining a narrow lead all the way to the finish.

“We came out and jumped on them,'' Hayden coach Carvel Reynoldson said. "They showed a lot of resilience coming back and they really upped their pressure. At the end we used the extreme pressure against them and we spread the court and were able to drive it and get fouls.”

Hayden was led in scoring by 6-foot junior Brylee Meier, who finished with 17 points, while junior Norma Greco finished with 13 points, and senior Lauren Sandstrom added 10 points.

The Lady Wildcats were led in rebounding by 6-0 junior Amelia Ramsey, who finished with 9 rebounds.

“All of them need to be aggressive,'' Reynoldson said. "We don't just have one or two girls that can score, we've got multiple, so they all need to be aggressive in their own way.

"I really thought spreading the floor helped Meier get some open looks. She is such a good shooter and she drove it well and that was a big difference-maker offensively.”

The Wildcats now feature three 6-foot post players in Sandstrom, Meier and Ramsey.

“We are trying to figure out how to best use them all, because everyone of them is such a good player, and we will get more acquainted with each other and I'm really looking forward to these three jelling together,” Reynoldson said.

Hayden has a rough stretch ahead of them in the next two weeks with key league games against Manhattan at home and road games against Emporia and Washburn Rural.

“It is definitely going to be grueling and most of the games are on the road, so we will be on the road playing extremely tough teams,'' Reynoldson said. "But it's gonna make us tougher and I am really looking forward to it.

"We have two big games coming up with home games against Junction City and Manhattan this week, then next week is going to be really tough with road games at Emporia and Washburn Rural, so we just have to keep getting tougher.”

Sandstrom, Meier and Ramsey all received All-Tournament recognition at the conclusion of the tournament.


Lafayette 6 14 16 9 -- 45

Hayden 17 10 14 14 -- 55

Lafayette (12-5) – Omon 4-6 2-5 10, Byrd 2-8 4-4 10, Carriger 4-7 1-2 9, McDonald 3-3 0-0 7, Manning 2-8 0-0 5, McQuiston 0-2 3-4 3, Davison 0-2 0-0 0, Nance 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 15-37 10-15 45.

Hayden (11-1) – Meier 5-11 5-6 17, Greco 4-9 5-10 13, Sandstrom 5-8 0-0 10, Grunert 2-6 0-0 6, Fulton 1-2 4-5 6, Ramsey 1-3 1-4 3, Reid 0-1 0-0 0, Huscher 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 18-41 15-25 55.

3-Point goals – Hayden 4 (Grunert 2, Meier 2), Lafayette 4 (Byrd 2, Manning 1, McDonald 1). Total Fouls – Hayden 13, Lafayette 23.

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