Slow start dooms Hayden boys basketball

Joel Reichenberger
Hayden's Alan Aguirre tries to block a shot from North Park's Nic Martin on Saturday. Hayden fell into a 16-1 hole against North Park and couldn't ever recover.
Joel Reichenberger

— It didn’t get any worse for the Hayden High School boys basketball team than it did in the eight full minutes of the first quarter Saturday against North Park, from tipoff to buzzer.

The Tigers had just one point in the period as the buzzer sounded. One moment later, however, a prayer of a 3-point attempt from Thomas Rauch, released just in time and from half court, glanced off the backboard and slid through the net.

That did seem to jump-start Hayden, which was much better for the rest of the game, but it wasn’t nearly enough to hang with the Wildcats, who won, 49-36.

“We weren’t hustling around. We have to get our heads in the game from the beginning,” Rauch said. “How we played after that is how we have to play all the time.”

Rauch’s trey made it 16-4 and marked a turning point for the Tigers. They never managed to dig far into North Park’s lead, but they didn’t let it expand nearly the way it did early.

The deficit was 15 points at half. Hayden outscored North Park, 13-4, in the fourth quarter.

“We have to put out as much effort as we can,” Rauch said. “We have to run through our offense better, get running through it several times. Things happen when we run through it.

“In the past, I’ve been the one who doesn’t shoot, who passes, so being that role, trying to score, is new to me, so I need to step up.”

The loss dropped the team to 0-10. It next plays Friday at West Grand.

“We need to play our game, and we know we can get better,” Rauch said.

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