Soroco boys hold off resurgent Hayden
Oak Creek — Another team, another time, and it would have seemed as if the Hayden High School boys basketball team let one slip away Friday night.
The Tigers have been desperate for any positive momentum they can come up with, however, and on Friday they left Oak Creek as 58-45 losers but feeling somewhat relieved.
Soroco bounced back from a four-point halftime deficit to surge past its intra-county rival, and in the end, it was a result that everyone somehow was pleased about.
“I liked our resilience,” Soroco coach Shawn Hayes said. “Our kids responded well. There were no heads down and they came out and buckled down on defense. That’s where it started.”
For Hayden, the whole game and the first two quarters in particular, was as good as the team has played this season.
The squad has lost by nearly 50 points on average in its first five varsity games of the season, including a 59-25 December loss against Soroco.
On Friday, however, the Tigers played with the most complete roster they’ve had this season and they more than stayed with the Rams.
A 3-pointer from Carlos Valdez late in the first quarter gave Hayden a 13-12 lead after that quarter. Eight more points from Valdez helped the team to a 25-21 lead at halftime, too.
“I was very pleased,” coach Jody Harvey said. “We have made tremendous gains since the last time we played Soroco. We finally got everyone back, so that helps. I was pleased with how we executed and how we competed.”
The Tigers couldn’t keep it up in the third quarter as Soroco came out of the locker room red hot. One series in particular summed things up.
Soroco retook the lead with Storm Veilleux put back an offensive rebound for a basket. Chance Beaty blocked a shot at the other end, then put back another offensive rebound for a basket and drew a foul. He sank the free throw for a 32-28 lead.
Veilleux then managed his own three-point play, scoring and drawing a foul, putting Soroco up comfortably, 35-28.
Soroco outscored Hayden, 20-4, in the third quarter.
Eric Logan scored 15 for the Rams. Warren Hayes had 13, Veilleux had 12 and Beaty had 10.
Valdez had 16, including four treys, for Hayden. Kole Miner had 14 and Thomas Rauch had 10.
Soroco, 5-2, plays on the road Saturday against West Grand. Hayden, 0-6, is at home at 4:30 p.m. against Vail Christian.
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