If you go
What: Hayden High School boys basketball at Plateau Valley
When: 7 p.m. today
Where: Today in Collbran
- Saturday, February 5, 2011, 5:30 p.m.
- Soroco High School, 305 S. Grant St., P.O. Box 158, Oak Creek, CO
2010-11 Tigers boys basketball schedule
- Dec. 9 to 11 Meeker Tournament:
- Dec. 9: Hayden 69, Mancos 45
- Dec. 10: Grand Valley 41, Hayden 38
- Dec. 11: Hayden 63, Meeker 50
- Dec. 17: Hayden 57, North Park 35
- Jan. 7: Hayden 60, Meeker 50
- Jan. 11: Hayden 80, Vail Christian 70
- Jan. 14: Hayden 67, West Grand 44
- Jan. 15: Hayden 77, North Park 45
- Jan. 21: Hayden 83, DeBeque 36
- Jan. 28: Hayden 59, Soroco 44
- Jan. 29: Hayden 66, Rangely 42
- Feb. 1: Hayden 78, Vail Christian 54
- Feb. 4: Hayden 63, Plateau Valley 52
- Feb. 5: Hayden 77, Paonia 65
- Feb. 8: Hayden 84, Vail Mountain 41
- Feb. 11: Hayden 65, Soroco 46
- Feb. 12: West Grand 53, Hayden 52
- Feb. 15: Little Snake River 60, Hayden 43
- Feb. 18: Hayden 69, Vail Mountain 45
- Feb. 25 and 26: District tournament
Steamboat Springs At least on paper, tests have been few and far between for the Hayden High School boys basketball team.
The team, 11-1, hasn’t won a game by fewer than 10 points all season and hasn’t had an opponent stay within 15 since a victory at Vail Christian on Jan. 11.
The Tigers crushed them by 24 in a Tuesday night rematch.
That should all change tonight as Hayden travels for a 7 p.m. game against 10-2 Plateau Valley, the Tigers’ main late-season rival for the Western Slope League crown.
Hayden returns home Saturday for another tough showdown, this one a 5:30 p.m. contest against Paonia.
“This has been my red-letter week all season,” Tigers coach Mike Luppes said. “Vail Christian, Plateau Valley and Paonia, they were my preseason picks to be right up there with us.”
As the season has played out, only Plateau Valley fits that description, and the Tigers hope to take care of that today.
The Cowboys are led by junior Teddy Grundy, who has established himself as one of the best players in the league. Averaging 21 points a game, the guard can score inside and out, hitting four 3-pointers to lift his team over Ridgeway two weeks ago. He scored 27 in that game and then scored 23 last week in a win against Vail Christian.
“He’s just a good, versatile athlete who doesn’t take bad shots,” Luppes said. “We have several ideas how we want to work with him. Last year, we did a really good job against these guys. We played our best half of basketball for the whole season against Plateau Valley. We shut them down in the first half. We’re going in with the same game plan this time.”
Even with a win, Hayden would not be out of the woods. Paonia has proven it has a potent offense, racking up 83 points against Soroco and 100 against De Beque.
The Tigers also still have West Grand on the schedule, one of two league teams to have beaten Plateau Valley. Meeker, the other, at 9-3, stands ready to step into the league’s top spot should Hayden suffer a late-season swoon.
Unexpected dips haven’t been a trademark of this Tiger team, as they have with other recent vintages, however.
Luppes used to decry his team’s habit of playing to the level of its opponent. A month of dominance has put that trait to rest for the time being. Thanks to consistent play from two of the league’s top guards, Hayden’s Graig Medvesk, averaging 18.3 points a game, and Ben Williams, averaging 13.8, as well as huge leaps in production from sophomore forwards Mark Doolin and Jorge Valdez and senior guard Hunter Johnston, the Tigers are in the midst of what they hope is a long streak of their best basketball.
“We’ve gotten a lot more consistent, which is something we worked towards,” Luppes said.
“I was optimistic we would be in a good position this time of year, but I thought it would take us a little longer to get to the point we’re at now.”