Defense sets up Soroco girls’ surge |

Defense sets up Soroco girls’ surge

Soroco’s Kourtney Bruner, left, and Mattie Rossi collapse on Northridge while on defense Friday in the Steamboat Shoot-Out basketball tournament.
Joel Reichenberger

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Things are unfolding nearly perfectly, Soroco High School girls basketball coach David Bruner said Friday, reflecting on the opponents his team has faced so far this season, almost entirely Class 3A and 4A squads, thus a big challenge for his 2A team.

“It couldn’t have worked out any better,” Bruner said.

He likes the size difference those schools are likely to bring. The Rams are a lot of things this season, but they’re not tall, and he’s hoping the players can learn to adapt by the time they get into the games that do really count in the league against other 2A teams.

“You get to see a lot of big girls. They have so many kids in their high school they’re likely to have a couple 6-footers, and you don’t see that much in 2A,” he said. “That’s good for us to get to play against.”

Friday, the Rams adapted quite well against 4A Northridge, erasing a first-half deficit with a fierce second-half full-court trapping press.

That, combined with some hot shooting, pushed Soroco to the win, 59-48.

The Rams did have to answer for one of those tall girls: Northridge’s Avery Schumann dominated with rebounds in stretches and led her team with 12 points. Soroco was most successful in checking her by pushing the pace, which came with that second-half press.

Soroco got 16 points from Chloe Veilleux, 13 from Charlee Veilleux, 10 from Mattie Rossi.

Plenty helped eat up what was a seven-point deficit at half, but a big component of it was the way the Rams began to heat up shooting the ball. Charlee Veilleux and Rossi combined for three 3-point shots in the third quarter, then Kayla Willie drained two in the fourth and Rossi added another.

“We tried to play zone to pack it in so they couldn’t get as many easy shots on us, but you can’t get the pace of the game we need to play doing that,” Bruner said. “So, that’s why we went back to a full-court press and we got them to play at our pace and that made it a little more difficult for that big girl to score.”

Next up for Soroco is another big school, Class 4A’s Montrose, which beat the Steamboat girls Friday, 55-19.

That’s A-OK with the Rams. At this point in the season, they’re looking for the biggest teams they can find.

To reach Joel Reichenberger, call 970-871-4253, email or follow him on Twitter @JReich9.

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