Prep Sports Preview: Routt County teams hope to head into holidays on high note |

Routt County prep sports teams head into holidays on high note

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — It’s the last week of prep sports competition before the winter break, and Routt County teams go into the holidays on a high note.

Steamboat Springs High School hosts two home games this weekend while Hayden High School’s basketball teams travel to Utah. The Soroco High School girls will host their first home game of the season on Thursday, and all the wrestling teams will head to West Grand on Saturday.

• No. 3 Soroco girls basketball (5-1) vs. Battle Mountain (2-3), 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 13 
The Rams held their own against Class 4A and Class 5A teams at the annual Steamboat Shoot-Out last weekend, and Soroco continues its tough schedule against Battle Mountain on Thursday. The Rams clobbered Eagle Valley, 58-22, then snuck past Mead, 46-36, and endured their first loss of the season in the championship game against Class 5A Prairie View, 61-54. Senior Chloe Veilleux leads the Rams averaging 20.8 points per game, shooting 39 percent from the field, while freshman Kayedence Bruner averages 10 points per game shooting 36 percent from the field. Junior Kourtney Bruner is the leading rebounder with 16 so far this season, and Kayla Wille leads the team with 10 steals. The Rams will be on the lookout for senior Claire Krueger, who averages 11 points per game on a 37 percent field goal percentage for Battle Mountain. The Huskies don’t rank high in Class 4A RPI rankings and lost 54-31 to Vail Christian, a team Soroco will face in the Class 2A Western Slope League.

• Soroco boys basketball (1-3) at Vail Mountain (1-4), 4 p.m. Friday Dec. 14
The Rams got off to a rocky start but notched their first win over Rangely, 45-34, Friday, Dec. 7. Senior Grant Redmond is averaging 21.3 points per game and amassing 42 total rebounds. Sophomore Liam Yaconiello has 15 rebounds, the second most on the team. Soroco and Vail Mountain have similar records, and senior Garret Sampson will be the player to watch from the Gore Rangers. He averages over 15 points per game.

• Hayden girls basketball (1-4) at Manila Tournament in Utah, 2 p.m. Saturday Dec. 15
The Tigers grabbed a road win against Encampment, 81-43, this weekend but lost its games against Rock River and Hanna Elk Mountain. Junior Joey Deckler has been a force for the Tigers, averaging 11.8 points per game and shooting 40 percent from the field. She’s also made seven of her 11 attempted 3-pointers this season. On defense, Deckler has blocked 15 shots and forced 14 turnovers. Sophomore Gracie Day leads the team with 22 while junior Alex Camilletti and sophomore Paige Barnes each have 20.

• Hayden boys basketball at Manila Tournament in Utah, TBA
The Tigers find themselves with a winning record entering this tournament. After last weekend’s road trip to Encampment, the Tigers have now amassed more wins than the past two years combined. The Tigers have an even scoring attack. Seniors Chris Carrouth and Patrick Hunter lead the team, averaging 9 and 8 points respectively per game. Carrouth’s field goal percentage hangs at 38 percent while Hunter’s percentage is at 32. Sophomore Liam Frentress leads the squad’s defensive effort with 10 forced turnovers so far this year.

• No. 6 Steamboat Springs boys basketball (6-1) vs. Mead (2-3), 1:30 p.m. Saturday Dec. 15
The Sailors will host the Mavericks on Saturday in Steamboat’s final game before the winter break. Senior Mac Riniker leads the team in scoring, averaging 21.8 points per game with a 70 percent field goal percentage. He’s blocked 13 shots on defense and forced 10 turnovers so far this season. Senior Aden Knaus averages 9.7 points per game and is the Sailors’ strongest 3-point shooter, making 13 of his 38 attempts. After winning the Steamboat Springs Shoot-Out, the Sailors will look to continue their win streak against Mead, which sits at No. 27 in the RPI standings and plays in a mixed Class 4A/5A league. Mead’s top scorer is senior Jax Wilke, who averages 20 points per game.

• Steamboat Springs girls basketball (1-5) vs. Fort Lupton (0-5) , 7 p.m. Friday Dec. 14
Now that the Sailors have tasted victory for the first time in two years, they are hungry for more. Freshman Samantha Campbell showed promise in the final game of the Steamboat Springs Shoot-Out, putting together a 12-point performance. Junior Katie Lake has tallied a team-high 20 rebounds so far this season while senior Lucy Shimek leads the defense with 10 steals. Fort Lupton faces a similar shooting problem as the Sailors, averaging 23 points per game while the Sailors average 27.4 points per game — a boosted number after a 52-point performance against Conifer. The Blue Devils’ leading scorer is senior Hilda Rivera with 6 points per game.

• No. 12 Steamboat Springs hockey (2-3) at Glenwood Springs (1-3), 5 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 15
The Sailors are coming off a two-game winning streak after defeating Crested Butte at home, 5-3, and taking a road win from Summit, 5-2. Seniors Cameron Colombo and Wyatt Boatright have both been key scorers for the team.

• Steamboat Springs, Soroco and Hayden head to West Grand Invitational, 9 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 15
All three Routt County wrestling teams head to the same tournament this weekend. Steamboat Springs juniors Tucker Havel, 132, John Slowey, 195, and Spencer Mader, 126, remain unbeaten through three weeks of competition. Hayden won last week’s tournament at Soroco and boasts a number of top contenders such as Dylan Zimmerman, 113, and Hunter Planansky, 182, who have both enjoyed back-to-back tournament wins. Soroco’s Jace Logan, 180, returned to the mat last week and won his weight class. He hopes to take home a state championship this year.

To reach Leah Vann, call 970-871-4253, email or follow her on Twitter @LVann_Sports.

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