Soroco girls earn league’s top spot |

Soroco girls earn league’s top spot

— Loud celebration emanated from the Soroco High School girls basketball team’s gymnasium, not because their easy win in a Saturday afternoon showdown against North Park was unexpected or thrilling.

Soroco won, 72-36.

The celebration wasn’t about winning one game, it was about accomplishing a goal, and by beating the Wildcats at home, the Rams did just that, locking up first place in the Western Slope-Gore League.

The only two people in that noisy locker room who were alive the last time the Soroco girls earned such an honor, in 1996, were the coaches. Consider that, and a little shouting seemed to make a lot of sense.

“We were so excited because we worked all season for this,” senior Hayley Johnson said. “We were taking it one game at a time, but it feels good when your goals are reached and your hard work pays off.”

The Rams got up big early Saturday, 20-6, and poured it on even more in the second quarter, outscoring North Park 22-2 in that eight minutes alone.

The Wildcats were better in the second half, scoring 28 points, but the game already was easily in hand for Soroco.

Briana Peterson had 20 points, Jessica Rossi 16 and Johnson nine for Soroco.

Afterward, the squad wasn’t focused on what it did Saturday, but what it did with the whole season.

Soroco is 14-2 and 7-1 in the league.

It has one league game remaining, Friday against Hayden, but a loss would only drop Soroco into a tie, where it would win tiebreakers.

Winning the league has big ramifications this year. A shuffling of the district and regional process means Soroco is guaranteed a spot in the regional tournament, set for March 6 and 7.

The team must first play in Cedaredge Feb. 27 and 28 in the district tournament. There, the Rams likely will face Paonia, the No. 2 team in the other half of the Western Slope. But, win or lose, Soroco will advance to a four-team bracket that will send one team to the eight-team state tournament.

“We’re playing into March, and that was one of our goals at the beginning of the year,” coach David Bruner said. “This is great for the kids.”

To reach Joel Reichenberger, call 970-871-4253, email or follow him on Twitter @JReich9

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