Hayden Bryan Richards has been looking for his team to put a full game together.
"We play in spurts - we just need a little consistency," the Hayden senior said after Tuesday night's game against West Grand.
Unfortunately, in the final home game of Richard's high school basketball career, the Tigers could only piece together the first half.
Only down a point after the first quarter, Hayden was able to scrap for rebounds and get looks inside to hang with West Grand, down 23-19 heading into the second half.
But in the third quarter, the Mustangs come out on fire, creating steals for transition baskets as well as nailing open shots in set offense. West Grand went on a 14-2 run to create a 37-21 lead.
"Once we got rolling and got the sweat going we really turned it on," West Grand coach Leo Pesch said of his team, 6-1 in league and currently tied with Meeker for the top spot in Class 2A District 5.
Hayden's Andy Sperl and Jordan Williams hit 3-pointers to cut the West Grand lead to 12, but West Grand answered with its own shooters from behind the arc - Tyler Music led his team with 18 points and scored two of his four 3-pointers in the third quarter to help the Mustangs outscore the Tigers 24-10 in the third.
The Tigers ended up turning the tables on the Mustangs in the final quarter, outscoring them with help from another three from Williams and a string of converted 3-point plays from Richards, who led Hayden with 17 points. But the deficit from the previous quarter was too large to overcome. The game ended, 66-49.
"It's pretty rough to go out like that," Richards said. "We have to go out as hard as we can, go in (to Grand Valley) and hopefully come out with a win and put a full game together."
The Hayden boys (4-11 overall, 2-5 in league) play at 7 p.m., Friday at Grand Valley.