Wild finish sinks Soroco boys
Oak Creek — There was a basket that wasn’t, then two free throws that wouldn’t, and they combined to help send the Soroco High School boys basketball team with a heartbreaking senior night home loss Thursday, 45-43, to Rangely.
Trailing big early, the Rams rallied to tie the Panthers inside the final minute. Rangely’s Colt Allred responded with a basket in the paint, but Soroco seemed to have forced a likely overtime when Carl Rossi shook off a pair of defenders pawing at the ball, drove the lane and bounced in a basket of his own with 5.8 seconds remaining.
He did make it, but not before coach Shawn Hayes, afraid the Rams were about to lose possession in a jump ball situation, called timeout.
Soroco junior Storm Veiulleux drew a foul on the ensuing inbounds possession but couldn’t convert on a pair of free throws.
“We had a set play we were going to run, and I saw Carl was tied up, and we did not want to get tied up and lose the ball,” Hayes said. “I had no idea he was going to break through that and make the layup. I apologized. If I knew that was going to happen, I wouldn’t have called timeout.”
That the game was even close enough to be lost in heartbreaking fashion was noteworthy, given the way things started.
The Rams scored four points in the first quarter and six in the second, trailing 20-10 at halftime. They struggled to handle Rangely’s press and couldn’t get into their offense.
They stormed out of the locker room, however, and quickly made a game of it, pulling within 22-18 on a Warren Hayes 3-point shot.
That was the first of a barrage of key 3-pointers.
Rangely pulled away later in the third, but Soroco answered again. A Veilleux trey made it 38-33. Chance Beaty hit one to make it 42-40. Eric Logan connected from deep to tie things at 43 with 35 seconds remaining.
“That’s the resilience they’ve shown the whole season,” Hayes said. “It just came up a little short.”
The loss leaves Soroco at 13-6 on the season. It doesn’t do anything to change the team’s postseason status. The Rams will play Thursday at Cedaredge in the district tournament, likely against Meeker.
No matter how that goes, they’ll play the following week at the regional tournament.
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STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — After almost four years of providing service to the community as a standalone, full-service emergency department, Steamboat Emergency Center will end its operations April 30.