Tigers boys wrap up No. 3 district seed


Hayden boys basketball, 2008-09

Soroco boys basketball, 2008-09

Hayden girls basketball, 2008-09

Soroco girls basketball, 2008-09

— It was a rocky regular season for the Hayden High School boys basketball team, but a late charge helped the Tigers wrap up the No. 3 seed in this weekend's district tournament.

Hayden forced a three-way tie for third by winning at Soroco High School on Friday night, then capping the regular season off with an easy victory Saturday at North Park.

The Tigers defeated the Wildcats, 76-42.

"It was a good weekend for us," Hayden coach Mike Luppes said. "With both Soroco and North Park, we were able to hold them down defensively."

The team had little trouble winning Saturday, routing North Park for the second time this season. Hayden, 12-7, jumped to a big early lead and rotated bench players in throughout the contest.

Senior forward Zach Barnes led his team with 12 points. Graig Medvesk added 9 and Billy Zehner, Zach Engle, Murphy Smartt and Justin Moon each scored 7.

All 13 players that made the trip for Hayden scored.

The win made official what became likely with Friday night's tight win against Soroco. That win threw Soroco, Hayden and Rangely into a three-way tie for third place.

The tiebreak couldn't be decided with head-to-head results as Hayden beat Soroco, Soroco beat Rangely and Rangely beat Hayden.

Hayden came out on top of that knot because it had allowed the fewest points to tied teams.

Hayden gave up a total of 100 points in its games against Soroco and Rangely. Soroco, meanwhile, gave up 118 against Hayden and Rangely, and Rangely gave up 127. Soroco's 74-71 victory against Rangely last month likely doomed both teams in the tiebreaker, piling up a huge point total.

Soroco then got the nod over Rangely because of head-to-head results.

It all means Hayden will play the sixth seed, Vail Christian, at 2:30 p.m. Saturday at home.

Soroco, 14-4, will host Rangely, also on Saturday.

Hayden girls rally past North Park, 48-41

The Hayden girls basketball team spent several weeks battling its tendency to let opponents back into games after building double-digit leads.

The squad appears to have that problem solved, but the new trend has kept games equally exciting.

The Tigers rallied from a deficit for the second time in as many games Saturday, coming from an 18-16 halftime hole to beat North Park, 48-41.

"That's the third time we've played them, and they had us figured out pretty well," Hayden coach Eric Hamilton said. "It's hard to beat a team three times, but we played good. It was a tough win."

Senior guard Caitlin Mahanna led the team with 13 points. Holli Salazar had 12.

"I couldn't believe we had only scored 16 points in the first half," Hamilton said. "We came out really aggressive in the third quarter, and we were able to take more control."

The Tigers, 17-1, return to action at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday against De Beque. They then will have to try to beat another squad for a third time as they welcome Soroco, 7-10, for a 1 p.m. game on Saturday to start the district tournament.


Abby Engle 8 years, 2 months ago

GOOD LUCK TO ALL MY TEAMS!!!! I love you all and i am so proud to be a part of this! Keep kicking butt, Boy Keep your heads up and always remember that if you mess up in a play there are no worries, 4.5 seconds later you get another try! Good luck this weekend I'll be in the stands cheering for you all!


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