Soroco girls basketball team has talent. It just needs a little luck to make state
OAK CREEK — David Bruner has coached the Soroco High School girls basketball team for 14 years and never before has he scheduled three back-to-back tournaments before Christmas. It will be an intentional challenge for the Rams as they head to Meeker, Colorado Springs and Center throughout December.
“We have eight games on the road to start our season,” Bruner said. “We should be battle tested on the road right off, so we’ll see where we’re at. We’ve never done that before since I’ve been coaching here. … It was something I wanted to do to get away from here and see some other teams.”
Thankfully, the team has a long Thanksgiving break to get good and ready for the top-heavy schedule.
The team’s core is all returners, as just one senior graduated from the 2021 team. That makes for a squad that’s familiar with each other and Bruner’s coaching style.
“It helps a lot because we already know how to play with each other, and I feel like it’s going to be better this year,” said senior Kayedence Bruner. “We’ve already played together with all of us on the court.”
Senior Kaci Taing said the fact that some of the team has been playing together since sixth grade and others since third grade will be a huge benefit.
As they have been in the past, the Rams are quick and athletic. They will have shooting talent in 3-point territory and under the basket, and their defense should be capable of stifling most teams.
Lexi Vandenburg, sophomore
Peyton Parker, senior
Sophia Benjamin, senior
Eden Mayer, senior
Kayedence Bruner, senior
Irene Hoff, senior
Isabel Medina, junior
Kaci Taing, senior
Kaelly Friedman, junior
Izzy Sanchez, senior
Caitlyn Cordova, sophomore
Rachelle Dudley, sophomore
Daisy Hoff, sophomore
Alyvia Cox, freshman
Ruby Miller, freshman
Molly Smith, freshman
Taing thinks the Rams will do well because they are hardworking and mentally tough. She said the team definitely has to work on free throws, though. If the team could somehow work on its height, that would be ideal, but of course, no one can change that.
“As you saw at the state volleyball tournament, the big teams, it’s hard to stop a lot of them with big girls that are 6-foot-1, 6-foot-2 and big, and it’s kind of the same thing with basketball,” David Bruner said. “A lot of those teams are the same way with the same girls playing basketball. We do some things a little differently to compensate for our size.”
The Rams are driven more than ever to make regionals, win regionals and qualify for state. The team has made it to regionals three of the last four years. Last year, the playoffs were formatted differently, so Soroco played in the district championship, then went to state as the No. 11 seed and lost the first-round game to Yuma.
Between that experience and much of the team competing at the state volleyball tournament last weekend, the Rams want to get to the 2A state basketball tournament. Bruner knows drive and skills aren’t always enough to reach that goal.
“This is my 28th year of coaching; I’ve been doing it a long time,” he said. “Truthfully, you have a little bit of luck down the stretch, and you have to stay injury free. Everybody’s got to stay healthy. That’s the way you win a state tournament.”
Dec. 3-4 - at Meeker tournament, W 96-13, W 55-28, L 37-31
Dec. 10-11 - at Colorado Springs tournament, W 70-22, W 32-21
Dec. 17-18 - at Center tournament, W 63-8, W 50-31
Jan. 7 - at Olathe, W 52-20
Jan. 8 - at De Beque, W 67-19
Jan. 14 - vs. Cedaredge, W 42-41
Jan. 15 - vs. Rangely, 2:30 p.m.
Jan. 21 - vs. Little Snake River, 4 p.m.
Jan. 22 - at Meeker, 1 p.m.
Jan. 29 - vs. Caprock Academy, 2:30 p.m.
Feb. 4 - vs. Vail Christian, 4 p.m.
Feb. 5 - at West Grand, 1 p.m.
Feb. 11 - vs. Hayden, 4 p.m.
Feb. 18 - at North Park, 5:30 p.m.
Feb. 19 - vs. Plateau Valley, 1 p.m.
To reach Shelby Reardon, call 970-871-4253, email sreardon@SteamboatPilot.com or follow her on Twitter @ByShelbyReardon.
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