Hayden boys falter in second half in loss to De Beque
HAYDEN — You know how in “Space Jam,” the Tune Squad came out in the second half against the Monstars rejuvenated after hydrating with Michael’s secret stuff. Well, the Hayden High School boys basketball team did the opposite.
Coming out of the locker room with a 31-29 lead over De Beque, Hayden looked like they drank something to make them less good at basketball. The Tigers failed to convert on 10 straight possessions, while the Dragons outscored them 15-5 in the third.
The second-half downfall cost the Tigers the game, as they lost 58-46 on Saturday, Feb. 15.
“We tend to do that,” said Hayden senior Reese Kern. “In the second half, I don’t know what it is, whether it’s sitting down in the locker room, or not doing anything, it kind of makes us sluggish and slow to start. It’s hard to come out in the second half fresh.”
When Hayden junior Angel Valdez was given a free chance with a pair of foul shots, he missed those too. Valdez, along with juniors Liam Frentress and Hunter Slowik were the teams consistent scorers. In the second half, no matter what shot they attempted, it wouldn’t fall.
In those 10 straight possessions without a score, the Tigers weren’t taking bad shots. They were simply missing.
After a score from junior Wesley Ryan pushed the De Beque lead to 11 points at 44-33, Slowik finally stopped the skid. A midrange jump shot trimmed the deficit to 9. The Tigers never did get going again, though.
“That’s the story of our season, has been our shooting,” said Hayden head coach Mike Luppes. “If we’re shooting well, we’re a good team. When we’re not, we don’t perform as well. Defensively, they had a couple good players. When they got open looks, they knocked them down. That was the difference, right there.”
The first half featured solid basketball from the Tigers. Hayden led 16-14 going into the second and stretched the lead to 5 as Valdez made it 26-21. A 3-pointer from Kern stretched the lead to 31-25, but De Beque closed out the half with 4 straight points.
Going into the game, De Beque was 15-2 overall and 8-2 against Western Slope teams, good for second in the conference and 25th in the state RPI rankings. Hayden, at 5-12, showed it can compete with anyone by leading the Dragons for the first half.
“We came out with a good effort. We played hard the whole game. I was pleased with that,” said Luppes. “They just made a few more shots than we did in that fourth quarter.”
Valdez ended the game with 13 points, while Frentress paced the offense with 16. Slowik was close behind with 12, and in his final home game in a Tigers basketball jersey, Kern netted 3 points.
He and his team have one game left Friday, Feb. 21, against Meeker. The Cowboys are 8-3 and riding a seven-game win streak, while Hayden will be looking to end the season on a win after dropping eight straight.
“Winning,” Kern said of the goal against Meeker. “That’s really the only thing we can do at this point.”
De Beque 58, Hayden 46
H 16 15 5 10 – 46
DB 14 15 15 14 – 58
Scoring: DB, Wesley Ryan 24, Jaden Jordan 19. H, Liam Frentress 16, Angel Valdez 13, Hunter Slowik 12, Reese Kern 3, Andrew Kleckler 2. Fouls: DB, 12. H, 17. FTs: 15-25. H, 10-18.
- Dec. 6-7: Hayden at Manila Tournament, W vs. Dugway 59-51, L vs. IMC 88-32, L vs. Manila 65-35
- Dec. 13-14: Hayden at Encampment Tournament, 1-2
- Dec. 17: North Park at Hayden, W 42-38
- Jan. 11: Rangely at Hayden, L 66-51
- Jan. 17: Paonia at Hayden, W 47-42
- Jan. 18: Hotchkiss at Hayden, W 43-40
- Jan. 23: Little Snake River at Hayden, L 67-38
- Jan. 24: Hayden at Soroco, L 58-52
- Jan. 25: Hayden at Plateau Valley, L 61-18
- Jan. 31: Vail Mountain at Hayden, L 49-27
- Feb. 1: Hayden at West Grand, L 55-35
- Feb. 11: Vail Christian at Hayden, L 70-55
- Feb. 14: Hayden at Caprock, L
- Feb. 15: De Beque at Hayden, L 58-46
- Feb. 21: Hayden at Meeker, 4 p.m.
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