By Robert Carter
North Jefferson News
KIMBERLY — Hayden's boys basketball team, lost seven seniors and one coach from last year, but has made quite a bit of progress late in the current season — just ask the Corner team which had its hands full with them last week.
Progress aside, Mortimer Jordan had few problems with the young Wildcats, storming to a 23-1 lead off the the opening tip on the way to a 77-47 victory in the first round of the Class 5A Area 14 tournament Friday night.
Five Blue Devils scored in double digits, as the top-seeded team dominated from beginning to end.
It was coach Lynn Elkins' game plan to attack the Wildcats early and hard, and the Devils executed the plan to perfection.
"We felt like we needed to get off to a fast start tonight, and that's just what we did," Elkins said. "That let us play a few kids."
Ben Hardiman and Seth Barnett controlled the glass on the defensive end for Jordan, and provided most of the scoring at the other. They each scored 14 points, with Hardiman grabbing 11 rebounds. Austin Merritt and Connor Moon each scored 11 points, and Dalton Hudson came of the bench to score 10. Mark Louis carved his way through the Hayden defense, dishing out 12 assists.
Chris Whitt led all scorers with 22 points for the Cats (4-25), and also tallied six rebounds. Luke Wall gave out six assists, and Duncan Parker blocked three shots.
The Devils' win sets up a rematch with Walker in the area finals on Monday night. The two split their home-and-away series in the regular season
"That'll be a tough game, because they are very athletic. We lost at their place and won at ours, and it'll be a dogfight for the area title. We didn't shoot well there, so we have to shoot better here" Elkins said.
Walker lost twice to Curry in the regular season, but prevailed 60-50 in the opening first round game Friday.