Saturday, February 3, 2007
Hayden Bryan Richards really did prove he was the king of Hayden High School's Snowcoming.
After Richards was named Snowcoming king at halftime of his game, the senior put on a show in the final two minutes of the game that would have been fit for a king.
The Hayden boys basketball team had led for 30 minutes of Friday nights game against cross-county rival Soroco, until the Rams took their first lead of the game, at 36-35, with less than two minutes to play in the game.
But thinking back to a game earlier in the year against North Park where Hayden had the lead late and ended up losing, Richards did his best Superman impression and saved the day.
After Soroco took its first lead, Richards responded, scoring seven consecutive points, including the go-ahead jumper to seal a 44-36 win for Hayden.
"Nobody wanted to lose," Richards said. "It's amazing. There isn't anyone else in the world I'd want to do that against than Soroco."
Early on it appeared the Tigers wouldn't need Richards' late game heroics. Hayden jumped out to a 13-2 lead in the first quarter and didn't allow Soroco to score its first field goal until 2 minutes, 6 seconds remained in the first quarter.
"They were more ready to play," Soroco coach Sam McLeod said. "They played harder and were just more pumped to play."
In the second quarter, Soroco began to find its rhythm. Led by Ryan Tibbetts and Kane Johnson the Rams quickly cut into the Tiger lead.
Johnson scored back-to-back buckets late in the second quarter to send Hayden to the locker room with a narrow 23-21 lead.
Hayden led by as many as eight midway through the third quarter before Soroco started to trim the lead.
The Tigers led 35-32 with 2:47 left in the game when Soroco's Bryan Spaeth made two free throws to cut the lead to two at 35-34.
Then on Johnny Decosta's only bucket of the game, Soroco took its first lead of the game with 1:47 left in the fourth quarter.
That's when it turned into the Richards show.
First he hit a jumper in the lane. Then he made a layup. Then after he made 1-of-2 at the free throw line he grabbed his own rebound, went up, got fouled and converted both free throws to give Hayden a 42-36 lead
"He did a good job being a leader for us," Hayden coach Shawn Baumgartner said. "He played within himself and took the ball and stepped up."
Richards led the Tigers with 17 points and 13 rebounds. Jordan Williams added 11 points and Chuck Hines had five.
Tibbetts led Soroco with 17 points while Steven Meade had seven points.
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