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Soroco girls drop thriller to North Park

Dave Shively

Steamboat Springs — No Soroco girls basketball team had accomplished the feat in more than a decade – taking a win from the North Park Wildcats. — No Soroco girls basketball team had accomplished the feat in more than a decade – taking a win from the North Park Wildcats.

— No Soroco girls basketball team had accomplished the feat in more than a decade – taking a win from the North Park Wildcats.

The Soroco Rams came out sharpshooting in the first half of Saturday’s Western Slope League game with the Wildcats, looking like they were set to buck the streak. But some late Soroco turnovers and some clutch delivery from the North Park free-throw line allowed North Park to hang on for a tight two-point win in Oak Creek, 48-46.

“It was mental lapses that got us those seven points behind,” Soroco’s Sarajane Rossi said of the crucial stretch of four consecutive Soroco turnovers that negated what started as a tied fourth quarter.

The game went down to the final seconds.

A contested Kelsey Samuelson shot banked in, Rossi scraped for a jump ball and Ayrn Kresl sank a flawless jump shot to bring the Rams back within two points with just a minute and a half to go.

Even when a pair of free throws from North Park’s Kaitlyn Hanson seemed to put the game out of reach, Soroco senior Glenda Long hit a 3-pointer to give the Rams a hope with 10 seconds to go.

But up two points, as Hanson bobbed and weaved through a slew of Soroco defenders who were hoping to create a steal, the clock expired and hope turned to disappointment.

“It’s tough knowing the girls gave every bit of effort they could and just didn’t walk away with the win,” Soroco coach Danelle Rivera said.

North Park coach Randy Hodgson was the first to breath a sigh of relief.

“I thought they’d get a steal at the end,” Hodgson said. “That was a brutal fight, you’ve got to give Soroco credit, that’s a gritty team that played hard.”

Hodgson credited the win to cool shooting from Hanson, his 92-pound starting sophomore point guard who went 7-8 from the free-throw line. North Park’s Kelsey Souza led all scorers with 17 points.

Samuelson led Soroco with 12 points and four steals. Kresl had 11 points and seven rebounds. Rossi and Long each had nine points, with 10 and five rebounds, respectively.

“I think we found ourselves this game, between how we played in the first half and the end of the fourth (quarter), playing our game,” Rossi said.

Soroco hosts Vail Christian at 6 p.m. Tuesday night.


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