Hayden, Soroco girls to meet in 3rd-place game after district semifinal losses
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — As the Hayden High School girls basketball team took on Meeker in a District 5 semifinal game, it recalled falling a week earlier 54-38 to the Cowboys in the regular-season finale.
Despite making adjustments, Hayden lost the rematch 53-36 on Friday, Feb. 28.
To keep senior Julia Dinwiddie off the board, Hayden implemented a major change on defense. She, as well as sophomore Sarah Kracht, put up 16 points against the Tigers in the team’s previous meeting.
“We played a zone, where we normally play a man (defense),” said head coach Lori Raper. “Still, (Sarah) Kracht had great shots. She had 16 points again. It was frustrating. We were definitely off.”
This time, the girls in orange wanted a different outcome to advance to the district championship.
In the first half, Meeker developed a 30-21 lead. The Cowboys really ran away with the game in the third, outscoring Hayden 14-4.
“We usually score pretty well in the third quarter and have a first or second quarter that isn’t great,” said Raper.
The team already has a guaranteed spot at a regional tournament though, and will play Soroco for third place in the district tournament on Saturday, Feb. 29.
After trailing for the entire game against Hotchkiss, the Soroco High School girls basketball team tied the game at 25 with a 3-pointer from senior Kourtney Bruner.
Each team spent significant time at the foul line in the fourth. In between the free throws, Bulldogs sophomore Vianney Mendoza hit a few shots to pull ahead and win 37-30 in the District 5 semifinal game in De Beque on Friday.
Considering his team was down by as much as 12 points, head coach David Bruner was happy with how the Rams battled back to give themselves a chance.
“In the third, we were struggling a little bit, and I pulled my five girls out and told them, ‘Hey, we need to go compete harder,'” he said. “And they did. They went out and competed. We’re down 12 points, 22-10 and end up tying it up at 25.”
Soroco struggled at the foul line, making nine of 17 attempts. Kayedence Bruner led the team with 11 points, while Kourtney added 5. Every member of the team scored, with Peyton Parker, Shelby Geiger and Makinley Parker each contributing 3 points.
The Rams barely bested their worst offensive game of the year. To start the season, the Soroco girls basketball team lost 44-26 to the Lotus School for Excellence.
The Bulldogs held Soroco to just 2 points in the second quarter. Neither team put up double digits in a quarter until the fourth, as Soroco held Hotchkiss to 12 fewer points than its average 49 per game.
“I thought, defensively, we played hard,” said David Bruner. “We competed. It was an interesting game, that’s for sure. It was something. … These girls always lay it all on the line and compete. That’s all you can ask of them.”
Soroco will face Hayden in the third-place game. The teams met in Oak Creek on Jan. 24, where the Rams won 65-43.
“That was the best shooting game we had all year, last time we played Hayden,” recalled David Bruner. “We shot like 42% from the floor. When you shoot like that, things are a lot easier. We’ll have to shoot the ball decent again. It should be a good game.”
Meeker 53, Hayden 36
H 10 11 4 11 – 36
M 16 14 14 9 – 53
Scoring: M, Sarah Kracht 16, Julia Dinwiddie 12, Kirsten Brown 11. S, Alison Rajzer 10, Gracie Day 7, Joey Deckler 6, Emma Seagraves 5, Lee Anna Nelson 3, Hailee Smith 2, Alex Camilletti 2, Tessa Booco 1. Fouls: M, 14, S, 16. FTs: M, 8-17. S, 4-11.
Hotchkiss 37, Soroco 30
S 8 2 9 11 – 30
H 9 5 7 14 – 37
Scoring: S, Kayedence Bruner 11, Kourtney Bruner 5, Peyton Parker 3, Shelby Geiger 3, Makinley Parker 3, Kaci Taing 2, Sophia Benjamin 2, Morgan Geiger 1. Fouls: S, 18. FTs: S, 9-17.
To reach Shelby Reardon, call 970-871-4253, email sreardon@SteamboatPilot.com or follow her on Twitter @ByShelbyReardon.
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