Hayden girls foul out against North Park

Joel Reichenberger
Hayden's Kenzie Fry rolls into a defender in the lane Saturday against North Park. She earned a blocking foul call on the play, but more often Saturday, the whistles were on the Tigers, not for them. North Park scored 17 points from the free-throw line.
Joel Reichenberger

— At halftime of the boys basketball game, Hayden High School held a fundraiser that challenged fans to come out of the stands, pay $1 and take a chance shooting a basket.

On the court, Kara Cozzens, a senior on the girls team, made one, missed several, then sank three in a row, all from beyond the 3-point line.

That performance seemed like a little more salt in the wound. If Cozzens and her teammates could have been half that accurate, Saturday’s game could have been different.

As it was, Hayden struggled offensively and defensively in an ugly 36-30 loss at home against North Park.

“We gave good effort. We just couldn’t get our shots to fall,” Hayden’s Taylor Hagar said.

Hayden racked up 13 fouls in the second half and literally half of North Park’s points, 17, came from the free-throw line. Hayden already was playing without Grace Wilkie, benched by a nagging knee injury, and it lost two more key players early in the fourth quarter when Darian Murphy then Chancy Graham fouled out.

It was Graham’s first athletic activity of the school year after she overcame an ACL tear.

The Tigers never were efficient Saturday, but they were in the game throughout. They led at half, 15-14, and pulled within one when Taylor Hagar put back an offensive rebound and was fouled in the process. She made the shot and sank her free throw to make it 28-27.

North Park, plenty inefficient in its own right, managed to find the points it needed late, sinking four of six free throws in the final four minutes to keep the Tigers at bay.

“We’re doing good things, and we still need to look at the positive things we’re doing,” Hagar said. “We need to focus on the shots and just take it to the basket and get it in there. We will be better.”

North Park’s Shelby Fliniau led all scorers with 12 points. Shelbi McAlister had nine.

Cozzens had eight to lead Hayden. Hagar scored seven.

The loss drops the Tigers to 3-7 on the season. They next play Friday at West Grand.

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