Hayden boys fall, 60-43, in Wyoming | SteamboatToday.com

Hayden boys fall, 60-43, in Wyoming

Slow start doomed basketball squad

— Hayden High School boys basketball coach Mike Luppes knew the squad from Little Snake River, Wyo., would probably be the best basketball team his team had seen all year.

What he didn’t expect was for his Tigers to play their worst first half of basketball in more than a year.

Hayden managed only 13 first-half points and couldn’t cap a late comeback Tuesday, falling, 60-43, to Wyoming Class 1A’s top-ranked team.

“We played an absolutely God-awful, horrendous first half,” Luppes said.

The Tigers were out of sync and could never get anything going. They trailed the Rattlers 18-8 after one quarter and were down 36-13 at half.

Hayden finally got it going after halftime, improving on offense.

“I told them to man up and start playing like a basketball team,” Luppes said. “We were as tentative as we could possibly be on offense. We just weren’t doing a whole lot of anything.”

Hayden cut the Little Snake River lead to 9 with three minutes left in the game, but several empty Tigers possessions turned it into a free-throw-shooting contest.

“It’s a disappointing loss, especially after that first half,” Luppes said. “But I was really pleased with the effort and the way we played in the second half.”

Graig Medvesk led Hayden with 18 points. Jorge Valdez added 12 points and 12 rebounds.

The loss was Hayden’s second in a row and drops the Tigers to 16-3 with one regular-season game remaining.

Hayden next plays at 5:30 p.m. Friday at Vail Mountain.

Luppes said the past two losses have shown some of Hayden’s weaknesses, which he hopes can be rectified before district playoffs begin.  

“Some of these weaknesses we’ve had, good teams have exposed them,” he said. “It’s good. We know we have some things we need to work on.”

— To reach Luke Graham, call 970-871-4229 or e-mail lgraham@steamboattoday.com

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