Hayden boys basketball team hunting wins this winter | SteamboatToday.com

Hayden boys basketball team hunting wins this winter

Hayden boys basketball coach Gerard Geis is hoping his team can turn it around after a winless season last year. The Tigers tip off their season next week with a trip to a tournament in Meeker.
Joel Reichenberger

— Gerard Geis said he learned plenty last year, his first year as head coach of the Hayden High School boys basketball team.

He learned about preparing his team not just for games, but for practice. He learned to plan for games and learned about getting the most out of his players.

He’s hoping those players picked up a few things, too, and that together, they can move beyond a winless 2015-16 season.

“It starts on the practice floor,” he said. “That’s where we make sure we’re doing things the right way and that what we do in practice translates to the court. If we practice hard, the games will be a lot easier and things will flow a whole lot better for us.”

Last season was a tough one for the Tigers. They struggled just to compete.

Offensively, they scored more than 30 points just twice in the 0-17 campaign. Defensively, they allowed less than 50 just once, in a 44-28 loss against North Park that was their closest game of the year.

But, Geis said there’s a light out there for the Tigers to chase, and if they can focus on the little things in practice, do some of the big things in games and work hard in both places, they can reach it.

The team didn’t have a single senior a year ago and is extremely young again this season, with just three seniors — Peyton Spafford, Trenten Kelly and Taylor Otto.

Alan Aguirre, a junior, averaged 6.4 points a game a year ago to lead the team in scoring and is back, as is Ethan Kern, also a junior, who averaged 5.9, and sophomore Daylon Frentress, next on the list at 3.7 points per game.

As miserable as last season may have been for the team, those were the kids out there in the midst of the storm for most of it, soaking up valuable experience despite the losses.

It may not add up to a league contender this year, Geis said, but he’s betting it does add up to some wins.

“They work hard,” he said. “They do everything they can to prepare, and I’d like to see them be able to see that work pay off in some results. They’ve really improved, which is great to see, but it would be so fun to see them get a win out of it, to see what it’s like on that side of things.”

The team starts its season next weekend with a trip to play at the Cowboy Shootout tournament in Meeker.

“We’re going to sneak up on some teams,” Geis said. “I know other teams don’t have high expectations for us, but we have expectations for ourselves and that includes beating some teams we’re not expected to.”

To reach Joel Reichenberger, call 970-871-4253, email jreichenberger@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @JReich9

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