They didn’t win, but Hayden’s young boys team showed that they have grown a lot in the last few weeks, falling 67-61 to a tough Corner squad in Tuesday’s finale of the regular season.
The Yellow Jackets jumped to an early lead, but the host Wildcats mounted a 16-3 run to go up by six points late in the first half.
Corner put together seven straight points to take the lead for good in the fourth quarter, and increased their advantage to 11 points on three straight 3-pointers by Dylan Hand. Blake Byrd helped to seal the deal in the closing moments with a 6-of-6 spell at the foul line.
Byrd led all scorers with 19 points for the Jackets. Austin Sanford scored 16 and Hand had 11, and was 3-for-4 on triples.
Chris Witt led the Cats with 17 points. Luke Wall had 15, and Duncan Parker got another double-double with 13 points, 14 rebounds and four blocks.
Hayden travels to face host Mortimer Jordan in the Class 5A Area 14 tournament on Friday, while Corner goes to Dora to take on Carbon Hill in the Class 4A Area 8 playoffs.
Scott Fort contributed to this report.