Routt County Rivalry: Top 5 moments of the night in Soroco’s win over Hayden

Soroco High School junior Joey McLaughlin scores during a game at Hayden High School on Thursday night. (Photo by Shelby Reardon)

HAYDEN — It’s been said by athletes and coaches alike that the Soroco-Hayden rivalry has dissipated in recent years.

That wasn’t the case Thursday night.

The Routt County Rivalry was alive and well as Hayden High School hosted Soroco High School in a tense late-season contest. The energy was higher than ever before as the Hayden girls basketball team and a few other students formed a cheering section for the Tigers.

No amount of screams could help Hayden though, as Soroco won 57-40.

Here are the top five moments of the night.

No.1: Midway through the first, Soroco senior Liam Yaconiello hit a three, his first of the game, giving the Rams the first two-possession advantage of the game at 16-11. With the confidence from that deep shot, Yaconiello pulled up a whole stride behind the arc in the next possession, building a 19-11 lead.

The shots gave Soroco a substantial lead, which they held for the rest of the night.

“We really tried to pay attention to playing team ball in this one,” Yaconiello said. “That’s what got us the (win.)

Hayden freshman Grady Frentress and Soroco junior Jed Kirby go after a loose ball during a game on Thursday night. (Photo by Shelby Reardon)

No. 2: Late in the second, Soroco senior Chase Delamater picked up a steal at midcourt, resulting in a Rams basket. He was also productive on the defensive board, picking up a few rebounds. The Soroco defense limited Hayden to just four points in the second to hold a 29-15 lead at the half.

Delamater only scored seven, but picked up more rebounds than anyone in a maroon uniform.

“He had a good defensive game,” said Soroco head coach Jody Gregory. “He’s fast and he’s strong. He’s quick for his size.”

No. 3: “What the hell, man?” Hayden senior Liam Frentress asked the ref after supposedly fouling on a shot attempt.

The ref blew his whistle and made a ‘T’ with his hands, signaling a technical foul.

Frentress said what every Tiger was saying as the frustration built in the first half. Soroco was running away with it, fouls were building up for both teams and shots were not falling for the Tigers. Annoyance was inevitable.

“We had a lot of easy shots,” said Hayden head coach Mike Luppes. “It should have been about a tie game at halftime, but we couldn’t anything go in the basket.”

Hayden senior Liam Frentress finds an open lane to the net during a game against Soroco on Thursday night. (Photo by Shelby Reardon)

No. 4: With six minutes to play, Hayden senior Hunter Slowik dove out of bounds to save the ball from going out. He flung it back inbounds as he fell to the floor. The ball found Soroco’s Yaconiello, who had a foot out of bounds. Hayden ball. In the ensuing possession, freshman Grady Frentress found an opening and scored. The basket cut the Rams lead to single digits at 45-36.

Slowik led all scorers with 18 and Liam Frentress netted 13. Slowik said he never felt like the team was out of it.

“I felt like we’ve come back from more in the past and anything is possible if you have the heart,” Slowik said. “All of us keep our heads up fairly good. We have the talent to do it, we just came up short today.”

Hayden freshman Grady Frentress aims a foul shot during a game against Soroco on Thursday night. (Photo by Shelby Reardon)

No. 5: As Hayden gained confidence late in the game and the fouls racked up, Soroco stayed cool. Yaconiello was pressured by Liam Frentress at the halfcourt line. Yaconiello used his length to pass the ball to senior Tyler Koler-Wixom, who passed to senior Luke Duksa who proceeded to score. The persistence on offense kept the Tigers at bay and earned Soroco a crucial regional win.

Soroco 57, Hayden 40

S 21 8 14 14 – 57

H 11 4 11 14 – 40

Scoring: H, Hunter Slowik 18, Liam Frentress 13, Cale Howard 2, Grady Frentress 2, Andrew Kleckler 2, Angel Valdez 2, Logan Morrison 1. S, Liam Yaconiello 17, Luke Duksa 12, Joey McLaughlin 11, Chase Delamater 7, Tyler Koler-Wixom 6, Jed Kirby 6.

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