Key 3-pointers lift Soroco Rams to basketball victory over West Grand |

Key 3-pointers lift Soroco Rams to basketball victory over West Grand

OAK CREEK — West Grand made things interesting down the stretch in Wednesday’s district playoff game, but huge baskets by Kyla Willie and another less than a minute later by Chloe Veilleux helped Soroco close out the Mustangs, 51-37. 

"I knew it would be a good game … and it was," coach David Bruner said.

The Rams cruised through the first three quarters and held a 35-22 lead headed into the final eight minutes of play. But the Mustangs didn't go down without a fight and closed the gap to seven points with 2:33 left to play.

But Willie's three-pointer at 2:08 pushed the spread back to 10 points, and then Veilleux stole the ball on the next possession and buried a second-straight three to give the Rams all the cushion they needed.

"It was huge," Willie said. "It gave us more energy and got us back in the game. It went in, and we all got fired up.”

Veilleux said she wasn't really thinking after she stole the ball on the Mustangs next possession and launched a shot from well beyond the three-point line.

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"I was just running and decided to shoot the ball,"  Veilleux said.  "I didn't think it was going to go in, but it went in."

The exciting finish wasn't exactly what the Rams were hoping for, but in the end, it made for an exciting game.

The Rams held the lead the entire way, taking a 12-6 lead in the first quarter and a 25-10 advantage at the half. The Mustangs trailed 35-22 after three, and despite making things interesting at the end, they were never able to close the gap entirely.

Next up for the Rams, currently ranked No 12 in the RPI standings, is the district semifinals, which will take place on Friday at De Beque High School. A win there will put the Rams in the finals and improve the team's seed for the upcoming regional playoffs that will follow.

Kourtney Bruner led the Rams with 15 points followed by Veilleux, Willie and Makinley Parker, who all had nine points each.

West Grand got 14 points from sophomore Emma DeSanti.

To reach John F. Russell, call 970-871-4209, email or follow him on Twitter @Framp1966.