Soroco girls run away from Wildcats
Oak Creek — There were fast breaks, fouls and steals — oh so many steals. Ten different Soroco girls played, and five scored, cycling in and each getting a chance.
They sank 3-point shots and converted layups, passed the ball, passed the ball and passed and passed the ball. They surged to a double-digit lead and saw it dissipate.
And that was just the first quarter.
The new-found pace of the Soroco High School girls basketball team roared into Oak Creek Tuesday night as the Rams played their first home game of the season. They teetered between furiously fast — effective — and frantically frenzied — less so — but ended up easily running away from North Park to earn a 84-39 victory.
“We still have a lot to learn,” coach David Bruner said. “We have a long way to go.”
The Rams don’t suit up a player taller than 5-foot-7, and only one that tall.
They’re fast, though, and Tuesday they blitzed through the Wildcats to win the game, improving to 2-1 on the season.
Soroco led by as much as 19-4 in the first quarter, then 44-19 at half, employing a full-court press with a savage intensity.
The Rams managed to harass North Park constantly with hands in the face as it tried to bring the ball up the court. That strategy resulted in multiple Wildcat possessions that didn’t make it much past their own free-throw line, let alone half court.
Chloe Veilleux had 11 points in the first half and 14 for the game. She was one of five Rams to crack double figures. Nine of 10 varsity players scored.
Mattie Rossi led the team with 17 points. DaKota Bruner, with just two points in the first half, exploded with 10 — including three 3-point shots — in the third quarter to finish with 15. Morgan George had 13 and Kayla Wille 10.
“None of our kids are scared to shoot,” David Bruner said. “That’s our system.”
It looked easy at times, but it wasn’t always smooth. When North Park did get the ball up the court, it often founds ways to score.
The Rams struggled at times with 3-point shooters and, hitting three of them, North Park’s Peyton Sanchez led her team with 14 points.
Offensively, Soroco was at its best running the court but struggled to convert as often when stuck in a half-court attack.
“We’re still working on our defense,” Bruner said. “This is a brand new system we’ve never run. We’re running a scramble man trap, and we still have some things to figure out.”
Those amount to things to work, Bruner said.
His team will get another test this weekend. Soroco travels to play at Cortez in a tournament, opening at 7 p.m. Friday night against Montezuma-Cortez, one of just four teams to beat the Rams last season. Soroco then will play either Ignacio or Nucla.
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