Soroco boys basketball advance in post-season |

Soroco boys basketball advance in post-season

Rams basketball splits as girls fall to Meeker on Saturday

— A speedy transition game and a slew of successful three-point attempts led the Soroco High School Rams boys basketball team to a 63-51 victory against the Plateau Valley High School Cowboys in a postseason game Saturday.

Taking a quick 6-0 lead in the first two minutes of home court play, Soroco stayed ahead of its opponent for the entire afternoon, leading by as many as 15 points.

Senior guard Alex Estes led the Rams in points, scoring layups on several transition plays to net 20 for Soroco. Senior forward Cody Miles led the team in rebounds, pulling down 14 boards. Along with his 11 points, Miles' defensive play earned him a double-double.

"I think we got off to a good start in the first and third quarters, and Alex is hard to handle in the open court," Soroco coach Sam McLeod said.

Miles' defensive rebounds fed Estes' runs down the court, creating a combination the Cowboys had trouble defending for the first three quarters of the game. By the time the Plateau Valley players hit their stride, it was too late — after taking advantage of a Soroco scoring lag to pull within one point for a score of 16-15 during the second quarter, the closest gap the Cowboys saw in the fourth quarter was 10 points wide.

Soroco juniors Michael Rossi and Pie Lombardi led their team in successful three-point attempts, with Rossi hitting five and Lombardi hitting two. The players' point totals were 17 for Rossi and 6 for Lombardi.

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"Those are young men who when they step up for us, it changes the game, and they sure stepped up," McLeod said.

The win secured Soroco a spot in a district tournament next weekend in Rangely. The team's play in two games there will determine seeding in a third game next week. That third game is part of the final tournament to determine the eight-team state tournament bracket.

Moving into the district tournament, McLeod said the team needs to "eliminate mental errors," including the types of mistakes that kept Plateau Valley within reach for much of Saturday's game. Traveling, backcourt violations, three-second violations, running out of bounds and throwing the ball out of bounds were among the causes of Soroco's turnovers.

Despite those missteps, McLeod said the team for the most part played smart basketball.

Also on the scoreboard for Soroco were senior forward Matt Watwood with 5 and junior forward Leif Carlson with 4 points. Leading the opposition were sophomore guard Teddy Grundy with 16 points, senior guard Travis Schweer with 12 and junior forward Dalton Schuman with 9.

Soroco girls basketball falls to Meeker, 48-35

The Soroco High School girls basketball team entered Saturday afternoon's district tournament opening game at Meeker with plenty of confidence that it could overcome its seed, No. 5, and beat the No. 4 Cowboys.

Midway through that game, things couldn't have been going better. It all fell apart in a painfully slow fashion, however, and Meeker ended Soroco's season, 48-35.

Ahead by 11 in the first half and 7 at halftime, the Rams shot just 12 percent in the second half and scored just 10 points.

"We had a great game plan, and it was working," Soroco coach David Bruner said. "We had them down, but we just couldn't shoot.

"I don't know if we got tight or what. They didn't do anything differently to us. We just didn't make our shots."

The team shot 40 percent in the first half, but made just four of 41 attempts in the second. Meeker tied the game late in the third quarter and then slowly took and expanded the lead throughout the fourth.

Corey Snyder led Soroco with 11 points, and Ceanna Rossi hauled down 14 rebounds.

"We're going to have to spend some time in the offseason shooting the basketball so something like this doesn't happen again," Bruner said. "These girls, they took great strides this year, and they are all coming back next season. They know they're right there, and they want more."