Wednesday, February 26, 2003
Steamboat Springs A 52-33 loss to Rangely on Feb. 22 marked the end of the basketball season for the Hayden boys basketball team.
In the previous meeting between the Panthers and Tigers, Rangely scored more than 70 points, so coach Shawn Baumgartner was pleased that his team's defensive effort was better in its district tournament loss. The Tigers just couldn't score points to keep up with the sharp-shooting Panthers squad, though, Baumgartner said.
"It was turnovers, really," he said. "I know they had to have had at least 10 layups off our turnovers."
Last year, the Tigers failed to win one game. This year Hayden, with a very young team, finished 4-17 overall.
Only one senior -- Alan Lighthizer -- was on the district tournament roster.
"Once we get our basic skills refined, we'll definitely be a competitive team," Baumgartner said. "I told the team this summer everybody needs to work on ball handling and passing and catching. That will make us a better team I think because it will help cut down on our turnovers."
Sophomores and freshmen made up the majority of the Tigers' roster by the end of the season, and freshman Keenan Bruchez even cracked the starting lineup.
Baumgartner said it was important to allow the freshmen a chance to experience basketball at the varsity level.
"A lot of it was a matter of getting them a little bit of playing time and a little taste of what it's like," Baumgartner said. "I know from throwing them into varsity situations. At the end you could tell they were nervous."
Sophomore Evan Hilling led Hayden in points and rebounds this season, averaging around 15 points and eight rebounds a game. He also shot 52 percent from the field, which Baumgartner was pleased to see from such a young player.
"We really tried to get him the ball more," Baumgartner said. "He's obviously our shooter. Our kids could have asked why Evan gets to take all the shots, but they didn't. The guys did a good job getting him the ball."
Lighthizer was second on the team with six rebounds a game.
The Hayden girls, after defeating Plateau Valley 80-57 on Feb. 18, were matched up with top-seeded North Park. The Wildcats defeated the Tigers, 75-28, on Feb. 22.
The Hayden girls basketball team finished the season at 6-16 overall.