Cramer scores 21 to catapult Hayden boys hoops past North Park |

Cramer scores 21 to catapult Hayden boys hoops past North Park

— Hayden High School junior Aaron Cramer soaked up scorn from friends, classmates and even school staff on Saturday when he emerged from the Tigers' boys basketball team locker room wearing a Tom Brady jersey.

That was a marked change from what he had experienced moments earlier wearing a jersey of a different shade.

Cramer played the best game of his career, scoring 21 points as Hayden took out a month of frustration on North Park, winning at home Saturday, 70-45.

"We needed that win pretty bad," Tigers coach Mike Luppes said. "It's coming. … They're starting to get in the swing of things and play well."

North Park has struggled to compete with Hayden in recent years, losing by an average of 30 points in six games dating back four seasons. The Tigers didn't waste any time Saturday. They were thrilled to get a win in the midst of a 4-6 season.

Some of what has plagued the squad was evident even in Saturday's lopsided victory. Hayden was turnover prone and lethargic at times, and the game was either closer or closing. Through other sections, the Tigers pulled away playing with intensity, traditional stuff like diving on the floor for loose balls and forcing mistakes while on defense and some things they couldn't have expected, like Cramer catching fire.

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Playing his first season of varsity basketball, Cramer woke up Saturday without having hit a single 3-point shot this season. He went to bed Saturday night with five to his credit.

Hayden led just 11-8 late in the first quarter. Sophomore Dan Engle scored a layup on a fast break and then added a 3-point shot, and Cramer drained two treys to help set up a 22-10 lead at the end of the quarter.

He canned another with five seconds remaining in the second quarter to give Hayden a 16-point lead at half, then swished another early in the third quarter.

"I've been working with my coach on my shooting, and I found it tonight," Cramer said. "I knew I had to get over that first shot, and it felt great to keep getting them to fall and having that confidence back."

Hayden also got big points from juniors Jordan Ferrier, who finished with 11, and Mark Doolin, who had nine, and senior Hunter Johnston, who also had nine.

To reach Joel Reichenberger, call 970-871-4253 or email

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