Rams girls basketball staying true to family foundation

Ben Ingersoll
Soroco senior Hayley Johnson smiles during a shoot around at Wednesday's practice. The Rams are heading into their biggest weekend of the regular season on the court, but with a teammate in the hospital off the court, the Rams are sticking to their family-first motto.
Ben Ingersoll

— The Soroco High School girls basketball team likes to keep things in perspective.

This weekend features easily the most important set of games the Rams will have for the remainder of the regular season when they travel to Vail Christian (8-3) on Friday, then host West Grand (10-3) on Saturday.

But it’s what happens off the court that not only defines them as basketball players, but also as young women, Soroco coach David Bruner said.

Following Tuesday night’s win at North Park, senior Laramie Parker had to be rushed to Yampa Valley Medical Center for emergency surgery for a non-basketball-related ailment. She stayed at YVMC through the night and remained there through Wednesday evening.

So the entire Rams girls basketball team boarded a bus, driven by Bruner, and headed to the hospital following Wednesday’s shortened practice to be with their teammate, just a few days shy of having a chance to grab first place in the 2A Western Slope Gore League.

“They’re important games and our girls will be ready, but we have some other things we have to take care of as a team, take care of one of our family members,” Bruner said. “That’s what we’re about, anyway.”

Parker likely won’t be there when the Rams board another bus and head down to Vail Christian, so Soroco will have to fill in the senior leadership piece and push forward.

The two teams met Jan. 13, a game when the Rams had to scrape their way out of a nine-point hole to win. Three days prior, though, they lost their only league contest of the season to West Grand. But ask Bruner which game they’re more focused on, and it’s the one that comes first this weekend.

“We’re more concerned about Friday’s game, truthfully,” he said. “If we win on Friday, we are in a good position to be in the top two and that’s where we want to be.”

Win both, and the Rams will be alone atop the Gore standings. Lose both, and Soroco will have to play some catch up and get some help if it wants a slot in the top pair.

But then it all comes back to perspective when you talk to the players themselves, such as senior Hayley Johnson. Win both, that’s great; lose both, it’s not the end of the world, so to speak.

“I believe we can go out and win both and take league,” Johnson said. “But if we don’t, we can still get ourselves into districts and the next steps.”

To reach Ben Ingersoll, call 970-871-4204, email or follow him on Twitter @BenMIngersoll

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