Hayden struggles against N. Park | SteamboatToday.com

Hayden struggles against N. Park

Luke Graham

— The Hayden High School boys basketball team headed into the holiday break on a sour note.

Playing at North Park on Saturday, the Tigers fell to the Wildcats, 62-42. Hayden coach Shawn Baumgartner said the same turnover problems that have plagued the Tigers all year continued against North Park.

“We gave up a lot of layups off of turnovers,” he said. “That’s always going to kill you.”

Baumgartner said that, defensively, the Tigers played well in half-court sets, but the turnovers contributed to the lopsided result.

Billy Zehner led the Tigers with 16 points, including two 3-pointers. Zehner became the fourth Tiger to lead Hayden in scoring this year. Baumgartner said that although that’s a good thing, it also shows one of the team’s flaws.

“It is good to see somebody step up like that,” he said. “At the same time, we do need to start getting some more consistency from everybody all the time.”

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The Tigers were without starting point guard Jordan Williams, who was still feeling the effects of an ankle injury suffered earlier in the season at the Meeker Tournament.

The loss moves the Tigers to 3-3 overall heading into the holiday break. With a young team, Baumgartner said he was happy with the way the Tigers played in the first few games. Baumgartner said things should get better for the Tigers when they get back from break, as they’ll get the services of guard Andy Sperl back.

Sperl was forced to sit out the first nine games of the season after transferring from Moffat County. Baumgartner said Sperl will move to the point guard position, moving Williams to his more natural shooting guard position.

The Hayden girls team also heads into the break coming off a loss. The Tigers fell to North Park, 64-48, on Tuesday.

Junior Jacquelyn Denker said the Tigers played with the Wildcats for the first quarter before the inside game of North Park took over.

Denker said North Park – one of the better teams in District 5 – is beatable, but the Tigers have to play better.

“Everyone knows North Park is a great team but it frustrates you when you can’t beat them,” she said. “We need to still work on some stuff. Our confidence needs to go up a little bit, and that will help us out.”

The Hayden girls team is 3-3.