Sanford next stop for the Soroco High School girls basketball team on a road they hope will lead to the state championships | SteamboatToday.com

Soroco Rams head to Sanford for next round of basketball playoffs

Chloe Veilleux will be one of six seniors on the Soroco Rams roster this weekend as the team looks to extend its season one more game and one more week. (Photo by John F. Russell)

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — The story of the Soroco High School girls basketball team has been full of highlights this season, and on Friday, the team will be looking to write another intriguing chapter as it heads to the regional tournament in Sanford.

The Rams’ story line includes 18 wins and just four losses — a run that includes a big win over Meeker, the state’s No. 2 ranked team in 2A, en route to winning the Meeker Cowboy Shootout tournament. The Oak Creek team was also close to earning a title at the Steamboat tournament in December if not for a loss to Prairie View, a team that was just knocked out in the second round of the state tournament in the 5A bracket.

The Rams’ only losses this season have come to Prairie View, De Beque — a team that is ranked in the top-10 of the 1A state rankings — and two regular-season defeats to Meeker.

“We have played pretty decent this year,” said Soroco head coach David Bruner. “We feel really good with where we are at, and we feel like we can go and compete with any team in the regional tournament that they sent us to. It should be a lot of fun.”

Soroco will take the court at 6 p.m. Friday, March 1, in Sanford against Calhan, 12-10 this season, in the opening game of the regional tournament.

A win means the Rams will play in Saturday’s regional championships against the team that wins Friday night’s other match-up between No. 2 Sanford and No. 28 Ridgway. A loss means the end of the Rams’ season.

“We have to take it one step at a time,” Bruner said. “Friday is the big game that we have to win because if you lose, you are done.”

For Soroco’s six seniors, including Chloe Veilleux, Grace Olinger, Katie Olinger, Kayla Willie, Grace Beaty and Hannah Hayes, winning means extending their high school careers for one more week.

Bruner is not only hoping for a strong showing from Veilleux, who is averaging just over 18 points per game, but would like to see the team’s other top scorers, including Wille and freshman Kayedence Bruner, help balance the Rams’ offensive attack. Both Wille and Bruner are averaging 10 points a game.

The coach will also be counting on junior Kourtney Bruner, who is averaging six rebounds a game, and sophomore Makinley Parker to pull down key rebounds in the contest.

“These are two girls that don’t get a lot of press, and they are our rebounders,” Bruner said. “They do a lot of the stuff that helps our team win.”

Because of geography, most of what Bruner knows about Calhan will come from the film he will be watching this week. The Bulldogs are seeded No. 21 in the state and went 5-2 in the 2A Black Forest League this season.

Offensively, the Bulldogs are led by Bailee Carter, who is averaging just under 10 points a game, and Jenni Ellis, who is averaging just over 8 points a game.

Calhan beat Fountain Valley in the first game of the team’s district tournament but lost to Simla in the semifinals and then Peyton in the third-place game at the district tournament.

“We just kind of try do what we do as a team and control what we can control,” Bruner said. “We can do that defensively and offensively with our team and have a game plan for the team that we are playing.”

To reach John F. Russell, call 970-871-4209, email jrussell@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @Framp1966.


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