2012-13 Tigers boys basketball schedule
- Nov. 29: Hayden 65, Soroco 45
- Dec. 6: Hayden 72, Green River, Wyo., 57 at Steamboat Springs Shoot-Out
- Dec. 7: Hayden 66, Montrose 64 at Steamboat Springs Shoot-Out
- Dec. 8: D’Evelyn 76, Hayden 47 for second at Steamboat Springs Shoot-Out
- Dec. 14: Hayden 62, Encampment, Wyo., 47
- Dec. 15: Little Snake River 56, Hayden 54
- Jan. 11: Hayden 85, West Grand 47
- Jan. 12: Hayden 68, Vail Mountain 29
- Jan. 18: Hayden 58, Hotchkiss 44
- Jan. 19: Hayden 67, Paonia 66
- Jan. 25: Hayden 62, Vail Christian 51
- Jan. 26: Hayden 75, Vail Mountain 40
- Feb. 1: Hayden 49, Rangely 42
- Feb. 2: Haydne 62, Meeker 58
- Feb. 8: Hayden 71, West Grand 52
- Feb. 9: Hayden 61, North Park 35
- Feb. 15: Hayden 74, Plateau Valley 47
- Feb. 16: Hayden 66, De Beque 21
- Feb. 22: Hayden 82, Soroco 44
- March 1: District tournament: Hayden 60, Paonia 47
- March 2: District tournament: Hayden 54, Meeker 51
- March 8: Regional tournament: Hayden 53, Sangre de Criston 41
- March 9: Regional tournament: Yuma 50, Hayden 33
Steamboat Springs The Hayden High School boys basketball team took care of business Friday night, and now it faces its most important test of the season at 1:30 p.m. Saturday in Grand Junction, where the Tigers will play Yuma to advance to the Great Eight state basketball tournament.
Hayden, the top seed in its four-team Class 2A regional and sporting a 21-2 record, beat Sangre de Cristo, 53-41, setting up Saturday’s showdown with Yuma, considered one of the state’s best through much of the season.
Yuma, 20-2, beat Dolores, 57-43, to advance to play Hayden in the regional championship.
“They are quick, fast and aggressive, and it will be a real challenge for us,” Tigers coach Mike Luppes said. “It will come down to whether or not we can slow down that quickness and speed and whether or not they can stop our inside game. That’s where we should have an advantage.”
On Friday, it was that inside game — powered by the athletic tandem of seniors Jorge Valdez and Mark Doolin — that pushed Hayden through to the doorstep of the state tournament.
Hayden answered Sangre de Cristo's aggressiveness, then opened the game up with a dose of full-court pressure in the second quarter.
“That was the turning point,” Luppes said. “We went into a zone press, then dropped into a zone, and they weren’t able to shoot over it or get it inside. We got some turnovers and some easy buckets building up that lead.”
The game ended with Hayden’s starters on the bench, resting up for Saturday’s decisive contest.
Doolin led the way for the Tigers, scoring 24 points and taking advantage of a defense that keyed on slowing Valdez.
Valdez still chipped in eight points, had 10 rebounds and five assists. Paul Laliberte had seven points and six assists, and Dan Engle scored six.
To reach Joel Reichenberger, call 970-871-4253 or email jreichenberger@SteamboatToday.com