Soroco boys hoops team falls to Rangely |

Soroco boys hoops team falls to Rangely

Dave Shively

The Soroco and Rangely boys basketball teams came to Saturday’s game in Oak Creek from two opposite ends of the experience spectrum.

Rangely returned all of its starters from last season, having graduated only one senior. Soroco, on the other hand, returned only two starters to a team now devoid of a single senior.

But despite a game that ended, 76-59, in Rangely’s favor, and was Soroco’s home opener, Rangely coach Jeff Paben saw in Soroco the same recipe for success that last year helped turn his own squad of nearly senior-free greenhorns into what stepped onto the Soroco court Saturday – one of the most well-rounded Class 2A teams on the Western Slope.

“Soroco’s a much better team than last year,” Paben said. “They’ll be darn good, and they’re getting better every week.”

It was hard to tell much difference between the two teams in the first quarter. Soroco converted on nearly each of its offensive possessions, had an answer for every Rangely point and got scoring contributions from each starter.

The tight play continued into the second quarter as Cody Miles found Bobby Mason down low, enabling Mason to draw a foul on an aggressive drive and convert both the field goal and the extra point to tie the score at 20. Alex Estes assisted Robert Anderson on another smooth play in the post to tie it at 22, but that was the closest Soroco got to regaining a lead.

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“I think we got a little flustered against their press,” Soroco coach Sam McLeod

said. “At the end of the second quarter, we started missing – six to eight uncontested shots right under the basket, and they got after it defensively.”

Establishing a serious inside presence with senior Keenan Harvey, who finished with 18 points and 16 rebounds, as well as perimeter shooting with back-to-back 3-pointers from Clark Edwards, Rangely jumped to a 51-29 lead in the third quarter.

Soroco however, answered with its most balanced play of the game, going on a two-minute, 13-2 run to close the quarter, starting with some points in the paint from Robert Anderson and finishing with back-to-back 3-pointers from Ryan Tibbetts.

But Rangely pulled away in the fourth quarter behind 14 of sophomore Patrick Phalen’s game-high 25 points.

Cody Miles, who led Soroco with 15 points and 16 rebounds, notched seven of those in the final frame. Anderson scored 14, and Mason and Michael Davis chipped in on the boards, combining for 15 rebounds.

“I think we’re coming along better each game,” Estes said of Soroco, who defeated North Park, 59-44, Friday night. “We just gotta keep working as a team, and we’ll pull together.”

Soroco plays at Hayden, at 8:30 p.m. Thursday night.

– To reach Dave Shively, call 871-4253 or e-mail

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