Tigers basketball beats Rams in districts

Hayden boys to play Meeker; Soroco to face Paonia today

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— The Hayden High School boys basketball team pushed past its cross-county rivals again Friday night, beating Soroco, 51-38, in the Class 2A district tournament in Rangely.

The game was much tighter than the most recent contest between the teams, when Hayden won, 76-46. The Tigers also beat the Rams, 46-37, this season.

“It was a close game pretty much throughout,” Hayden coach Mike Luppes said about Friday’s matchup. “We were ahead basically throughout the game. … Soroco just kept hanging around, making little runs at us, but we were able to hold them off.”

Hayden’s Graig Medvesk led all scorers with 18, and Murphy Smartt had 6 points and 11 rebounds. For the Rams, Cody Miles had 13 points, and Alex Estes had 12 points.

Soroco coach Sam McLeod said his team went into halftime trailing only 26-20, but the third quarter sealed Hayden’s lead.

“We just turned the ball over quite a bit in the third quarter, and they went on a little run,” McLeod said. “One little run, and it was pretty much over.”

His Rams will face Paonia at 11:30 a.m. today, and the Tigers will face Meeker at 2:30 p.m. as the tournament continues in Rangely.

The Meeker boys are undefeated this season and ranked at the top of the class. Luppes said his team looked forward to the game after losing to Meeker by 10 the last time the teams met.

“Since that loss, this is what we’ve been aiming for is we wanted to see Meeker in the district finals,” Luppes said. “So it’s a big one for us.”

Hayden girls fall, 47-39, to Rangely team Friday

The Hayden girls basketball team slipped at the Class 2A tournament, losing to Rangely on Friday night, 47-39.

“It was a really tight game,” Tigers coach Eric Hamilton said. “It was actually back and forth the entire game, and Rangely kind of pulled ahead there at the end. They hit some pretty key free throws, and we weren’t able to catch up. Just a tough game. We didn’t play very well, and they kind of out-hustled us.”

Delanie VeDepo led Hayden with 14, Rachael Koehler had 11 and Erin Koehler had 8.

The team will play Meeker at 10 a.m. today in Rangely.

“We’ve just got to bounce back,” Hamilton said Friday night. “This happened to us last year, so we’ve got to come out fighting tomorrow.”

This weekend’s games determine seeding for the regional tournament next weekend.

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