The Hayden boys basketball team dominated play in the paint during Tuesday's 56-38 win against rival Soroco.
Tigers coach Shawn Baum-gartner didn't have an official lay-up chart immediately after Tuesday's game, but it was a number that had to be stacked heavily in Hayden's favor.
"Our offense is designed to find the great shot," senior Keenan Bruchez said.
Bruchez led all scorers with 22 points. Fellow post players Dave Gullett and Tyson Sweetser had nine and eight points, respectively. Nearly all of Hayden's 56 points were scored off shots from within 5 feet of the hoop, including points scored by its guards and forwards.
Still, Baumgartner said, the Tigers will have to improve against the Western Slope League's better teams.
"We are doing a great job of getting the ball where we need to," he said. "We aren't finishing."
To Hayden's credit, its players weren't interested in shooting jump shots against the Rams. The Tigers worked the ball around until they found an easy shot.
Hayden and Soroco were close for the first six minutes, but the Tigers went on a 5-2 run in the final minute of the first quarter to open up a 19-11 lead.
The Rams never got closer.
In recent wins against West Grand and Coal Ridge, Hayden had not played well in the second quarter against either team, allowing the Mustangs and Titans to stay close. On Tuesday, the Tigers built an insurmountable 17-point lead by halftime.
"This is our third game we've been up big," he said. "We put three good quarters together (Tuesday) night."
Now, Baumgartner wants to see Hayden outscore the opposition in the fourth, which it did not do Tuesday. The starters played sparingly, however, in the third and fourth quarters.
Senior Kyle Hendrickson led Soroco with 14 points. Junior Bryan Spaeth had 10 points, and junior Steve Meade, who was limited because of foul trouble, finished with six points.
Hayden improves to 6-3 overall and is riding a four-game win streak. Soroco drops to 2-6 overall. Up next for the Tigers is a 7 p.m. game Friday against North Park in Walden. Soroco plays Grand Valley at 7 p.m. Friday in Parachute.
-- To reach Melinda Mawdsley, call 871-4208 or e-mail email@example.com