Hayden's Paul Laliberte pulls up for a shot on Saturday. Hayden won against Rangely, 74-60.

Photo by Joel Reichenberger

Hayden's Paul Laliberte pulls up for a shot on Saturday. Hayden won against Rangely, 74-60.

Hayden boys basketball team cruises by Rangely

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Hayden's Daniel Engle puts a shot up on Saturday against Rangely.

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Hayden's Hunter Johnston drives for a layup Saturday.

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Hayden junior Mark Doolin lays a shot up and in on Saturday. The Tigers ran by Rangely, winning 74-60.

— Things continue to come together for the Hayden High School boys basketball team.

Three weeks ago, the team was saddled with a 2-4 record and questions around the court.

On Saturday, the Tigers stormed to their fifth straight win, taking out Rangely, 74-60, primarily on the strength of a dominating first half.

“We played our best half of the year. It was easily our best half,” Hayden coach Mike Luppes said. “We played some pretty good defense. We were pushing the ball down the floor and looking at our post. We just played a very good first half.”

Plenty of things were clicking for the Tigers. Paul Laliberte scored 14 points and Hunter Johnston hit a 3-point shot and finished with 7. A few sophomores provided strong minutes throughout the game.

Nothing worked quite as well as the post game, however. Juniors Jorge Valdez and Mark Doolin each came up huge for the Tigers. Valdez finished with 23 points, and Doolin had 22.

“We did a good job getting the ball to them,” Luppes said. “They’ve been getting those shots, but not finishing well. Tonight they did. There weren’t many opportunities for second-chance points when those boys took it to the basket.”

Hayden, 8-5, has five games remaining on the regular season, but few easy nights in that stretch.

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