Hayden boys snap league streak against rival Soroco, Rams win girls matchup
February 3, 2018
HAYDEN — Feeding off a crowd who could sense that Saturday night was "the night," the Hayden High School boys basketball team enjoyed something it hasn't for nearly three full seasons: a win against another Colorado basketball team.
The Tigers beat Soroco on Saturday, 61-48.
The Tigers snapped one big streak earlier this season when it won a game against a team from Wyoming while at a tournament in Utah.
That broke a 40-game losing streak.
They hadn’t been able to get that win against a Colorado team, until Saturday.
The Hayden boys started hot and remained hot through the first half. Their quick start seemed to feed off of a very energetic crowd, and junior Mason Brewer hit back-to-back, 3-point shots early in the first quarter to give the team the early edge they needed in a game that seemed winnable for either team.
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“Mason was a great spark throughout the game. His intensity is great for our team, and he was key tonight," coach Mike Luppes said. “We got great contributions from our bigs as well. We did a great job sticking to our game plan, and I thought we did a great job in shutting down Soroco offensively.”
The Tiger boys were led in scoring by their inside men, Alan Aguirre and Ethan Kern. Aguirre had a double-double, scoring 15 points and collecting 17 rebounds, and Kern contributed 14 points.
The Soroco boys couldn't match the early pace of the game and were hurt by poor outside shooting, hitting only two 3-point shots the whole game.
Still, the Rams took away some positives.
“I thought we got great contributions from Tyler Wixom and Kendall Hood on the defensive end tonight.” Rams' coach Shawn Hayes said. “This was a very tough loss for us because I thought we had a great week of practice, a week where you could tell things were getting better. Of course a loss isn’t what we wanted, but I’m proud of the work we are putting in right now.”
They did get a solid offensive performance from junior Grant Redmond, who led all scorers with 20 points.
“I thought Grant played well for being as tired as he is," Hayes said. "He was big for us on offense tonight.”
Soroco girls outpace Hayden
The Soroco girls, meanwhile, stayed undefeated in league play, defeating Hayden, 38-22.
The Rams haven’t lost since the first week of December.
They were led by stellar guard play, often using four guards on the court. Mattie Rossi was the dynamo leading the group in the first quarter, and though she missed a layup off a great Euro step move, she was able to collect the rebound and pass to a teammate for an open 2-point shot, which was swished. That type of play was kept up from Rossi as she filled her stat sheet with a plethora of great defensive plays, assists and driving layups.
She would finish the game with 11 points.
“Mattie is just one of those great overall athletes.” Soroco coach David Bruner said. “She is fun to watch, and sneakily fills up stat sheets.”
Rossi wasn’t the only guard Hayden couldn’t handle, they also got a great performance from Charlee Veilleux, who led all scorers with 12 points. Most of her points also came from some nifty moves close to the basket.
“We are missing one of our key players right now, so Charlee has picked up some of the ball handling duties. Of course she doesn’t like it, but I thought she did great tonight," Bruner said. “These next couple weeks are big for us in getting healthy, especially with the goals we have.”
Hayden girls basketball coach Michelle Wilkie cited her team's offensive woes as the Tigers' main problem.
“We did a good job breaking their press, which I’m very proud of, but we didn’t execute on offense and didn’t match the early pace of the game," Wilkie said.
The Hayden girls limped out of the first quarter with only six points, and left their head coach wanting more from the team offense.
“After tonight, my goal for the end of the season is to put together a quality, start to finish, game of offense," Wilkie said.
The Tiger girls were led by senior Gabby Lewis, who scored seven points.
Although their offense wasn’t firing, their defense was able to keep the game from getting out of hand.
“I’m ecstatic we held that team under forty points, and our perimeter defense played great. We stopped a good 3-point shooting team from making three’s.” Wilkie said.
The Hayden boys and girls high school basketball teams will next face North Park, Friday at home. The Soroco boys and girls basketball teams will also play Friday at home but against Plateau Valley.