Soroco girls basketball again looking to fill in lineup
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Replacing important seniors is nearly as regular a part of high school hoops as sweeping the gym and airing up the basketballs. The Soroco High School girls basketball team certainly is aware, having had to replace seemingly irreplaceable pieces each of the last few years.
They’ll need to do it again, at least if they’re to keep up what’s been one of the most successful streaks in the school’s history. The Rams haven’t lost more than four games in a season since 2014 and haven’t had a losing record since 2010. To do it again this winter, they’ll need to fill some big gaps.
“We’re losing two really good players, and one of the things we lost is all the leadership that came from them,” coach David Bruner said. “If someone can step up and be that leader, we can be as good, but it may take is a little longer to fill out and gel together.”
Those two big losses were DaKota Bruner and Morgan George, two of the team’s top four scorers on a team that finished second in the league to undefeated state champion Paonia.
There’s no clear plan to straight up replace them, David Bruner said, but there are still plenty of proven players to help fill in the holes.
Chloe Veilleux returns for her junior season after an all-conference campaign last year where she led the team in multiple categories, including points, 15.5 per game, and assists, 3.9 per game.
Mattie Rossi, a senior, is back after leading the team in rebounding (8.2 per game) and steals (3.2) and scoring 9.5 points per game, as is Charlee Veilleux, also a senior, who averaged 5.8 points per game. Both Rossi and Veilleux were honorable mention all-league selections.
After that, Bruner said he’s looking to fill out his starting lineup and regular rotation.
Some of the candidates have already gotten valuable varsity minutes. Kayla Willie, a junior, averaged 5.8 points per game a year ago. Grace Olinger, a senior, saw significant time on the court as well.
Others will be getting a chance at those minutes for the first time this weekend when the team begins its season.
“We’re trying to find five girls who gel well together,” Bruner said. “It’s good we have these preseason tournaments before we start league play in January.”
The season starts Thursday for the Rams as they travel to play in the Cowboy Shootout tournament in Meeker. They’ll open at 3 p.m. against the Mesa Ridge junior varsity team, then also play games Friday and Saturday.
“Every year you lose kids, and you hope you can replace them,” Bruner said. “We’ve been able to do that the last six years so hopefully we can do it again.”
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The Oak Creek Library, which has been somewhat hidden inside the Oak Creek Community Center for 35 years, will be moving to a more prominent location on Main Street in the fall.