Routt County high school basketball teams ready for busy week of playoff action

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— The Hayden Tigers boys basketball team got bittersweet news Monday afternoon, but head coach Mike Luppes hopes the cancellation of a first-round district playoff game will not overshadow what should be a big week for high school basketball teams in the area — including his.

“This is a good news-bad news situation for our team,” Luppes said Monday afternoon. “On one hand we get an extra night of practice to prepare for this weekend’s tournament, but on the other we lose what could have been a good game. We also lost the chance to play at home one last time this season.”

Luppes said eighth-seeded Vail Mountain notified top-seeded Hayden (17-2) that it would forfeit the teams’ schedule meeting. The Vail school has struggled with fielding a full roster this season, and Luppes said a mid-winter break this week dropped the team’s numbers even more. Instead of traveling to Hayden for the game, Vail Mountain elected to forfeit the pigtail playoff matchup.

The Tigers now turn their full attention to preparing for the tournament opener at 7:30 p.m. Friday in Paonia. The Tigers will face the winner of a game played Tuesday between Paonia and Hotchkiss.

Hayden’s Friday game is one of several playoff basketball games taking place this week for Routt County teams.

The Hayden girls basketball team (4-14) will open its district tournament on the road in Hotchkiss. The Tigers hope to extend their season with a win over the Bulldogs in a game that tips off at 6 p.m. Tuesday.

The Soroco Rams also open district playoff on the road. The Soroco girls team (14-5) will travel to Rangely on Tuesday for a 5 p.m. game against the Panthers. The Soroco boys (9-10) will travel to Meeker for a 6:30 p.m. Tuesday game against the Cowboys.

Steamboat Springs High School’s basketball programs are hoping to keep their title hopes alive with wins this week. The Sailors girls, 12-11, face Green Mountain at 7 p.m. Tuesday in Lakewood. The boys, 11-11, play Golden at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday in Golden.

To reach John F. Russell, call 970-871-4209 or email jrussell@SteamboatToday.com

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