First-year coach sees Tigers' progress

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— The Hayden boys basketball team opened the season with two double-digit losses, but first-year coach Shawn Baumgartner sees progress.

"You see the bright points," Baumgartner said. "It's coming. I felt every day in practice we've taken another step that we've needed to. You can see it. The kids are working hard and picking up on things."

This coming on the heels of two defeats at the hands of Moffat County's JV, 59-41, and the team from Baggs, Wyo., 59-39.

The team's most recent setback was on Friday against Baggs in Hayden's home opener.

Hayden played with Baggs through one quarter, trailing by just four.

The score was 34-23 at the half, and Baumgartner said the visiting team came out pushing the tempo, and consequently its lead, in the third quarter.

"Baggs was a good team, and they shot the ball well," Baumgartner said. "But I thought as a team we played together fairly well."

The coach said his team's execution was better offensively and defensively overall in its game against Baggs compared to the season-opener in Craig.

"We did give up a few more points in transition against Baggs," Baumgartner said. "We'll have to make some adjustments."

Hayden will see Baggs again on Dec. 17 in Wyoming.

The Tigers return to the court this weekend in the Meeker Tournament. Teams and exact schedules are still being worked out, Baumgartner said.

The Hayden boys won't resume play on their home court until Jan. 10 in the league opener against Paonia.

Through two games, sophomore Evan Hilling is the team's leading scorer, rebounder and assist man. He is averaging nine points, eight rebounds and 2.5 assists per game.

Senior Alan Lighthizer is averaging eight points and six rebounds.

Sophomore Chris Frentress is averaging two steals a game for the Tigers.

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