The Hayden High School boys basketball team got the fourth-quarter effort it wanted and the free-throw percentage it needed in a 59-43 win against Rangely on Saturday in Hayden.
The Tigers outscored the Eagles, 22-14, in the fourth quarter and shot an impressive 82 percent from the free-throw line in the double-digit win.
The victory kept Hayden tied with Grand Valley for second in the Western Slope League standings.
"It got down to a two-point game in the third quarter," Tigers coach Shawn Baumgartner said. "Then we made a run at the end of the third quarter."
Most of Hayden's fourth-quarter points came from the free-throw line, where the Tigers were 18-of-22 for the game.
"We shot a ton of free throws," Baumgartner said. "We average about 55 percent from the line."
Three Hayden players scored in double figures, led by Bryan Richards' 19 points and nine rebounds. Keenan Bruchez finished with a double-double, scoring 15 points and pulling down 10 rebounds. Tyson Letlow scored 12 points.
Hayden (11-4 overall, 6-1 in league play) hosts Grand Valley at 8:30 p.m. Friday at Hayden High School. The winner will claim sole possession of second place. The Cardinals have beaten the Tigers twice this season, but both games were nonleague contests.
"We've gotten tons better," Baumgartner said. "We shot 36 percent from the field the first time and 35 percent the second time. They play real good defense, but at the same time, we were getting the ball inside like we wanted and just missing those shots."
The Tigers and Cardinals are a great match-up because both teams feature good inside-outside games.
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The Hayden and Soroco girls basketball teams lost close home games Saturday.
Paonia defeated Soroco, 37-35. Rangely defeated Hayden, 51-45.
The Paonia boys basketball team remained unbeaten in Western Slope League play with a 66-38 win against Soroco on Saturday in Oak Creek.
The Hayden girls host Grand Valley at 7 p.m. Friday.
The Soroco girls and boys teams host North Park on Friday. The girls play at 5:30 p.m., and the boys play at 7 p.m.
-- Pilot & Today Staff