Hayden boys hoops looking to make it 2 against Meeker

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— It may not be the same as last year, when a Hayden High School boys basketball matchup against Meeker included two of the state’s best teams. That should do little to defuse the rivalry, however, and nothing to diminish the importance of tonight’s 8:30 game in Hayden, which kicks off the league slate for Hayden and Meeker.

“That’s always an important game for us,” Hayden coach Mike Luppes said. “It’s different now because we both lost a lot of players. They’re pretty much in a rebuilding year, but it’s a big game since we are both expecting to be in the chase at the end.”

Hayden, 3-1, beat Meeker, 63-50, earlier this season, covering for a poor shooting night with a tremendous rebounding advantage. Luppes said the formula will have to be the same tonight, especially because the Tigers will be without one of their top guards, senior Ben Williams, who is out of town at a college baseball showcase.

“He was a big factor for us the first time,” Luppes said. “We have to have some people step up and play well to make up for that loss. Still, if we come to play, I’m confident we’ll be in good shape.”

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