Cedaredge beats Soroco girls to win Western Slope title
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — The Soroco High School girls basketball team wins because it’s fast and strong on defense. But Cedaredge was faster and stronger.
In Saturday’s Western Slope League championships game, the 12-1 Bruins visited the 10-1 Rams and put on a show. Cedaredge earned the league title with a 59-27 victory over Soroco.
“They’re a really good team. They’re really fast. They’ve got long arms,” junior Kayedence Bruner said. “You got to make really strong passes to get around them.”
Soroco isn’t used to being stifled on offense. The team averages 52 points a game. It has been held to less than 30 just once this year — in a 31-26 loss to Paonia, the team’s only loss going into Saturday’s game.
Soroco was down 34-15 at the half and was determined to come out with a better defensive game plan that included fewer flashy steal attempts and more traditional defense.
Soroco junior Eden Mayer collected a rebound on the Bruins’ first possession, and Shelby Geiger was fouled on a shot attempt. She made one of two to start chipping away at the lead.
Mayer was strong all afternoon, picking up eight points, while Bruner earned 10.
Every score was answered by a Bruins basket, though. Cedaredge maintained a 20-point lead throughout the third.
By the fourth quarter, Soroco was tired, scoring just two points while allowing 10. Every Ram on the roster got time on the floor to try to give the starters a rest. They made uncharacteristic mistakes, such as passing into the backcourt while advancing the ball into the front court.
“Their quickness (hurt us) and always being alert on getting out there and letting us make the easy pass,” Bruner said. “We had to make the hard pass across the court.”
They were still hustling, but as the score hit 57-27 with 3:30 to play, the Rams were looking defeated.
“I think we did a better job in the second half, but not to perfection how we could have,” Bruner said. “We could have still kept them in front of us and not let them go left or right hard. They’re really fast.”
But the loss isn’t the end of the season.
As the league champs, Cedaredge will automatically advance to the playoffs. Soroco advances due to the Colorado High School Activities Association seeding index. After taking data from the RPI, coaches poll, Packard and MaxPreps rankings, Soroco is No. 12 in the 2A rankings. The top 24 teams advance to the playoffs, and Cedaredge is No. 1.
“We need to work a little harder as a team,” Bruner said. “Get a little better on defense, make sure we’re talking more.”
Cedaredge 59, Soroco 27
C 21 13 15 10 – 59
S 11 4 10 2 – 27
Scoring: C, K Henderson 21, M Gastinear 14. S, Kayedence Bruner 10, Eden Mayer 8, Peyton Parker 6, Makinley Parker 2, Shelby Geiger 1.
To reach Shelby Reardon, call 970-871-4253, email sreardon@SteamboatPilot.com or follow her on Twitter @ByShelbyReardon.
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Steamboat Springs 2021 graduate Thomas Lewer will always set lofty goals.