Sports briefs for Dec. 14 |

Sports briefs for Dec. 14

Pilot & Today staff

Hayden boys basketball coach Mike Luppes said his team has improved greatly, even in the first few weeks of the season.

Based on Saturday’s results, it might be possible to put a number to that improvement: 14.

The Tigers lost to Rangely by three points just a week ago, but on Saturday, they defeated the Panthers, 57-46, to take third place in the Cowboy Shootout Tournament in Meeker.

“Our defense was more solid, we had fewer turnovers and had a more consistent effort,” Luppes said. “Overall, we played a much better ballgame than we did last time.”

Graig Medvesk led the team in scoring for the third consecutive game, adding 19 points. Murphy Smartt scored 17. Zach Barnes, who, along with Medvesk, was named to the all-tournament team, scored seven.

“Graig had a very good tournament,” Luppes said. “He’s just a sophomore point guard. He had a few jitters at the beginning of the year but is starting to penetrate now and is knocking down 3-point shots.”

Hayden led throughout the game against Rangely, taking a 10-point lead into halftime and holding off the Panthers throughout the second half.

“It was a matter of confidence,” Luppes said. “We built the lead, and we were confident enough to maintain it. We continued playing solid, even when they brought pressure. It showed we have the confidence to compete with anyone.”

Steamboat Springs hockey improves to 5-0

The Steamboat Springs High School boys hockey team knocked out Mullen with three first period goals Saturday, then added to it with three more in the third period. The 6-1 win improved the team to 5-0 on the season.

James Whelihan scored two goals as five different Sailors got on the board. Jake Bearss, Ian Anderson, Grant Ehrick and Jon Winkelblech all scored.

Soroco wrestling places 3 at Sargent High School

The flu and bad grades cut the already small Soroco wrestling team to just three competitors Saturday.

That still was plenty enough to make an impact as the team traveled to a tournament at Sargent High School in Monte Vista.

David Strait led the way, placing second in the 145-pound division. Lauryn Bruggink, at 103, and Ben Strait, 152, each placed third.

“They all wrestled well,” Rams coach Jay Whaley said. “They each hit a few toughies, but they did better than a week ago. They just keep getting better.”

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