Tigers eye two weekend wins | SteamboatToday.com

Tigers eye two weekend wins

Tonight, Saturday pivotal for Hayden basketball teams

Luke Graham

— The Hayden High School boys basketball team knows what’s at stake as it prepares for a two-game homestand this weekend.

Hayden – who plays Grand Valley at 8:30 p.m. today and Rangely at 7:30 p.m. Saturday – knows if it can come away with two wins, the Tigers will most likely get a top-four seed heading into the District 5 playoffs.

The top four seeds host first-round home games.

“The goal is to win out,” Hayden coach Robin Lighthizer said.

But winning both games will be tough, with current No. 1 seed Grand Valley and fourth-seeded Rangely presenting matchup problems for the Tigers.

“We’re going to have to shoot the ball well and be real aggressive on defense. Especially against Grand Valley,” Lighthizer said. “But I think the kids are up to it. They know what’s on the line.”

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On the girls side, Tigers coach Stephanie Davis finds her team in much the same position as Lighthizer’s.

Hayden’s games – at 7 p.m. today against Grand Valley and 6 p.m. Saturday against Rangely – also are pivotal in District 5 playoff seeding.

Along with Plateau Valley, Meeker and Soroco, Hayden is battling for the fourth seed and a first-round home game in the playoffs.

“We’ve been playing better,” Davis said. “We’ve had to make a few adjustments, but I think we’ll be competitive.”

Grand Valley currently is at the top of the District 5 standings while Rangely sits at the bottom.

Davis said against Grand Valley, Hayden has to get back on defense and make sure it contains point guard Kendall Babler and forward Whitney Ashcraft.

“We need to finish strong,” Davis said. “We’ve been playing pretty tough, and I’d like us to continue with that. Heading into districts, we’re fighting for a seed.”