Hayden High School senior Zach Barnes towers over Soroco's Matt Watwood on Friday as the Tigers beat the Rams, 47-42. The win cast the rivals, along with Rangely, into a three-way tie for third place in District 5.

Photo by Joel Reichenberger

Hayden High School senior Zach Barnes towers over Soroco's Matt Watwood on Friday as the Tigers beat the Rams, 47-42. The win cast the rivals, along with Rangely, into a three-way tie for third place in District 5.

Hayden boys, girls dominate Soroco

Boys win, 47-42, and girls win, 55-39



Hayden High School's Jarah Woodley barely beats a charging Shelby Miles to a loose basketball Friday. The Tigers beat the Rams by more than 30 points earlier this season, but they needed a strong fourth quarter playing Friday in Oak Creek to finish off the season sweep. Hayden won, 55-39.

Game statistics


Hayden: 17-6-16-10 - 47

Soroco: 6-15-11-10 - 42

Hayden - J.Engle 2 1-2 5, Zehner 1 1-2 3, Z.Engle 0 0-1 0, Valdez 2 0-0 4, Smartt 8 5-11 22, Williams 1 0-0 3, Barnes 3 3-4 10. Totals 17 10-21 47.

Soroco - Estes 2 0-0 5, Miles 6 1-4 13, Tibbetts 3 2-3 10, Mason 5 0-1 10, Watwood 2 0-1 4. Totals 18 3-9 42.

3-pointers: Hayden (3) - Smartt, Barnes, Williams. Soroco (3) - Estes, Tibbetts 2.


Hayden: 10-15-7-23 - 55

Soroco: 9-11-13-6 - 39

Hayden - Salazar 5 6-8 16, Koehler 4 0-1 8, Mahanna 5 3-5 13, Sweetser 5 2-4 12, Woodley 1 1-2 3, VeDepo 1 1-6 3. Totals 21 13-26 55.

Soroco - S.Rossi 4 3-4 10, Maes 1 1-4 3, George 3 0-0 9, S.Miles 2 0-0 5, Schlegel 3 0-0 7, L.Miles 1 1-2 3, C.Rossi 0 2-2 2. Totals 14 7-13 39.

3 pointers: Soroco (6) - S.Rossi, George 3, S.Miles, Schlegel.

Hayden boys basketball, 2008-09

Hayden girls basketball, 2008-09

Soroco boys basketball, 2008-09

Soroco girls basketball, 2008-09

— It was the same old story Friday night for the Hayden High School boys basketball team.

The Tigers have been streaky all season, and they capped another week of ups and downs Friday in Oak Creek. Just one week after getting demolished at home by Meeker, one of the best teams in the Western Slope League, Hayden beat Soroco High School, another of the league's strongest teams through much of the season.

The Tigers completed a season sweep of the Rams, 47-42.

"We played great defense, and we were able to take control offensively inside," Hayden coach Mike Luppes said. "We played really well tonight."

On the surface, Friday night's game resembled Hayden's December win against Soroco.

Hayden again opened up a huge lead early in the game, this time flying to a 17-6 first-quarter lead. The Tigers pushed it to 21-6 before Soroco finally started to answer.

Unlike the two rivals' first meeting, however, the lead didn't come from a slew of Soroco turnovers. Instead, Hayden dominated with its half-court offense, pounding the ball in to forwards Murphy Smartt and Zach Barnes.

Smartt finished with a game-high 22 points while Barnes was second on his team with 10.

"We were just running through our offense," Smartt said. "Whenever we would swing it around fast, we could get open shots in the paint all day."

Also like the game earlier this season, Soroco managed to charge back. The Rams put it all together in the second quarter and took control of the game much the way Hayden had done in the first.

After Soroco's Matt Watwood scored from inside the lane and Ryan Tibbetts added two free throws at the end of the first half, the team had clawed within two points.

But Soroco never found a way to stop Smartt. The Hayden junior scored nine points in the third quarter and five more in the fourth.

The Tigers picked up one more key basket when Jeremy Engle put back an offensive rebound with 2 minutes, 11 seconds remaining.

"We got a lot of looks down low from two feet that we couldn't get to fall," Soroco coach Sam McLeod said. "If you can't finish those baskets, you can't win basketball games.

"The boys were really pumped up for this one, and it's a big disappointment."

The game cast Hayden, Soroco and Rangely into a third-place tie in the league. Soroco and Rangely each still have one league game remaining.

Hayden girls survive scare

The scoreboard didn't seem to give him any reason to be excited, but that didn't deter Soroco girls basketball coach David Bruner.

"Wow. We're improving," he said.

The Rams played much better Friday night against Hayden than they did in a rout earlier this season. It still wasn't enough, however.

The Tigers came up with 23 fourth-quarter points to rally past the Rams.

"I'm really proud of this win," Hayden coach Eric Hamilton said. "Soroco really came out and played tough."

Hayden senior Holli Salazar led all scorers with 16 points. Seven of those came in the decisive fourth quarter.

Soroco took a 33-32 lead into the quarter, but it couldn't slow Hayden's seniors. In addition to Salazar's points, Hayden senior Caitlin Mahanna scored seven of her 13 points in the fourth quarter. Kylee Sweetser had five points in the final frame.


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