Soroco steals a pair from Vail Christian
There is no truth to the rumor that Vail Christian sports will be moving back across Highway 6 to St. Clare.
Volleyball opened the new gym in the fall with a loss to West Grand, and Soroco basketball did a nice job Saturday night of ruining Saints basketball’s debut in the new barn with a sweep in nonconference play.
But nix the plans on returning across the street.
“No, no, no, no,” Saints boys basketball coach Sheldon Kuhns said. “Not at all.”
Neither side seemed to happy after the Soroco boys beat Vail Christian, 58-45.
“It was a rough, ugly game, but it was nice to get a win,” said Rams coach Sam McLeod, whose team nevertheless improved to 5-0. “If they were giving (style points) out, I don’t think either team would have gotten points.”
The Saints led early in the first quarter, 10-6, but the Rams went on a 13-1 run to end the period behind a solid transition game led by Cody Miles (17 points) and Alex Estes (12).
Vail Christian got within eight at the half at 29-21, and consecutive buckets by A.J. Burgess early in the third made it 29-26, but that was as close as the Saints would get.
The key stat for the hosts was 1-of-19 shooting from beyond the 3-point arc.
Vail Christian point guard Will Parker accounted for the only trey of the evening, but the rest of his nine points came from the line during an off night for pretty much everyone wearing Saints’ blue, white and silver.
“It’s fixable,” said Kuhns, whose team dropped to 2-4. “I think we say, ‘It’s an off night shooting.’ Those are going to happen once in a while, but we let them outplay us in the first part of the game and that can’t happen.”
Bright sports for the Saints included nice play inside from Larry Cavanaugh (11 points), and Chris Schmidt (nine). Burgess ended with a team-high 12 points.
For the Rams, the issue was turnovers.
“The only thing I can take away from it is that we still need to take care of the ball better,” McLeod said. “We played well in spurts, but we need to put together an entire game. There were a lot of sloppy plays, which are somewhat uncharacteristic. We didn’t take care of the ball. We didn’t play well, but we played well at times.”
Soroco heads to Hayden for a big rivalry game Thursday at 6:30 p.m., while Vail Christian hosts Rangely Friday at 7:30 p.m.
George leads Lady Rams
Soroco’s Madison George is a freshman, but she doesn’t play like one.
George had two 3-pointers, and teammate Sarajane Rossi had another during the fifth minute of Saturday night’s game as the Rams bolted out to a 17-4 first-quarter lead on the way to 51-37 win.
“If we’re open and we don’t shoot, we have to sit on the (bench),” George said, pointing to her coach, David Bruner, after the game. “I just had it my mind that I wanted to be the best. I’m a freshman, and competing with seniors isn’t the easiest (thing).”
George held her own just fine with a game-high 21 points.
Vail Christian’s best chance to get back into the game came in the second quarter, when the Rams committed their 10th team foul with 6:01 left in the half. The Saints were not able to capitalize on the situation by pounding the ball inside the paint for a layup or a trip to the free-throw line.
“It’s just a matter of getting to that point where you really understand the game,” Saints coach Doug Bruce said. “A coach can stand in there and tell you that, but until you’ve lived it a little bit, it just doesn’t happen automatically. I’m really proud of their effort, though. They refused to quit. As our offensive skills get better, we’re going to get better.”
The Rams continued to run afoul of the refs in the second half, and Bruner found himself looking down his bench looking for able players to close out the win.
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It seems like the best celestial events too often happen in the wee hours of the morning, in the cold dead of winter.