Hayden exhausts Soroco | SteamboatToday.com

Hayden exhausts Soroco

Different date. Different gym. Same story.

Behind 23 points from senior Keenan Bruchez, the Hayden boys basketball team defeated Soroco, 53-39, on Friday in Oak Creek.

The win was Hayden’s second lopsided victory against the rival Rams this month, having defeated Soroco, 56-38, on Jan. 10 in Hayden.

“They are huge,” Rams coach Sam McLeod said. “I didn’t think we could have played much tougher (Friday night).”

Hayden came out quickly Friday, attacking the rim from all points on the court, getting easy looks on cross-court passes to the weak side and good looks from the low post.

On Friday, Bruchez was nearly automatic from inside the paint.

“This was his best game of the year,” Tigers coach Shawn Baumgartner said. “He controlled the boards.”

The comfortable lead early in the first half allowed Baum–gartner to substitute liberally, emptying nearly the entire bench in the second quarter. He followed a similar pattern in the second half, when everyone got by the third quarter’s completion. Most coaches use the starters until the fourth quarter in a lopsided game.

“Part of it is to give the starters a rest,” Baumgartner said of his substitution patterns. “The other part is to get the others more quarters and get them into the flow of the game.”

As expected in a rivalry game, however, the Rams did not give up. Bryan Spaeth scored six points in a one-minute span late in the third quarter.

The Soroco junior finished with 13 points.

“Bryan has played well this year,” McLeod said. “He is averaging 16, 17 points a game for us.”

Senior Kyle Hendrickson led the Rams with 14 points. Junior Steven Meade scored six.

The win keeps Hayden in a tie for second place with Grand Valley in the Western Slope League standings. The Tigers face the Cardinals at 8:30 p.m. Feb. 3 in a league showdown.

Before that, Hayden will face Rangely at 5:30 p.m. today in Hayden.

“We are starting to mesh as a team better,” said senior Tyson Sweetser, who scored seven points Friday.

Soroco will play league-leading Paonia at 4 p.m. today in Oak Creek.

— To reach Melinda Mawdsley, call 871-4208 or e-mail mmawdsley@steamboatpilot.com

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