Hayden boys hoops still stumped by Little Snake River | SteamboatToday.com

Hayden boys hoops still stumped by Little Snake River

— Hayden High School boys basketball Mike Luppes observed before boarding the bus to play Little Snake River High School in Baggs, Wyo. that his Tigers never had won in Baggs under his tenure.

The Tigers have made that trip with some pretty talented teams, and they did so again this year. That hasn't made a difference, and to Hayden's great frustration, it didn't make a difference again this year.

Hayden fell in a thriller Saturday in Baggs, 56-54, the game hinging on a charge or block call in the lane with three seconds remaining. Luppes said senior Aaron Cramer was set. The referees said otherwise, and Little Snake River completed an old-fashioned 3-point play to take the lead.

"That was the difference maker, but it shouldn't have been. It should have never been a call that made a difference in the game," Luppes said, citing his team's lackluster first-half performance.

Hayden led 18-12 after one quarter but, saddled with foul trouble in the second quarter, tailed by six at half and eight after three quarters.

The Tigers outrebounded the Rattlers and ended up with fewer turnovers. Little Snake River hit eight 3-point shots, however, and got that crucial twist of fortune when it mattered the most.

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Paul Laliberte finished with 13 points to lead Hayden. Jorge Valdez had 12, Mark Doolin and Isaac Bridges nine each while Aaron Cramer had six and Dan Engle two.

"We did everything better than them tonight except shoot the ball. That was the difference," Luppes said.

Hayden enters the holiday break 4-2.

To reach Joel Reichenberger, call 970-871-4253 or email jreichenberger@SteamboatToday.com