Soroco girls compete in districts this weekend for chance to host regional tourney |

Soroco girls compete in districts this weekend for chance to host regional tourney

Hayden junior Ema Schlim pushes into Soroco senior Eden Mayer during a basketball game on Friday, Feb. 11, in Oak Creek. The Soroco girls team will compete in a district tournament this weekend. If the Rams win, they’ll host a regional tournament.
Shelby Reardon/Steamboat Pilot & Today

The Soroco High School girls basketball team is the No. 1 seed in this weekend’s 2A District 5 Tournament at De Beque High School.

The Rams will take on No. 4 Rangely at 3 p.m. Friday, Feb. 25. Rangely advanced to the semifinals following a 52-28 victory over No. 5 Hayden earlier this week.

Rangely has improved as the season went on, and they are peaking at the right time, according to Hayden coach Jeff Schlim.

If the Hayden girls had won their game at Rangely, they would have faced Soroco on Friday.

“We knew last night was going to be a tougher game going in compared to our first competition with Rangely,” Schlim said. “The loss of our bench due to injury had a huge impact on our success this season. The first half last night was great for both teams. Then we ran into foul trouble and tired legs in the second half. … Down by double digits, we had no option but to go ‘all-in’ during the fourth quarter with a full-court press that Rangely handled easily and extended their lead quickly.”

Schlim will return next year to try to improve on this year’s results.

“We are disappointed with the way this year went,” Schlim said. “We had much higher expectations for the season. We have an excellent crop of eighth graders coming up, which is encouraging.”

Head coach Jeff Schlim advises the Hayden girls basketball team during a timeout during a game against Soroco on Friday, Feb. 11.
Shelby Reardon/Steamboat Pilot & Today

The Soroco boys also had higher hopes for their season, which ended with a 6-13 record.

Hayden went into the year with an almost entirely new roster, new head coach in Bryan Richards, and an open mind. The Tigers ended up with a 2-15 record.

The No. 6 Soroco boys also had a district quarterfinal game Tuesday night, in which they fell 73-49 to No. 3 Plateau Valley. The No. 7 Hayden boys fell 81-24 to No. 2 Vail Mountain.

“I think with this group of guys, they worked really hard this year,” said Hayden boys coach Bryan Richards. “They didn’t get the result they wanted, but day in and day out, they showed up, gave it their all and we have a lot of individual improvement.”

Richards plans to return to coach the team next year and see some of those efforts turn into wins.

So the Soroco girls will represent Routt County not only at the district level but potentially at regionals and state. But first, they have to get through districts.

In order to advance and host regionals, Soroco will have to win two games. The Rams have previously defeated Rangely 53-35 and are 11-0 against regional opponents. So they should be confident but focused. If they win that matchup, they’ll take on the winner of the No. 2 Plateau Valley vs. No. 3 Meeker game.

Plateau Valley and Soroco just played on Saturday, Feb. 19, and Soroco squeaked by with a 38-36 victory.

It was the second-fewest points Soroco has scored in a game this season. The only time the Rams scored fewer points was in a 37-31 loss to Coal Ridge, the team’s only loss this year.

The Rams are ranked No. 4 among 2A teams, and if they win the district tournament, they’ll be assigned a seed between 1 and 8, as well as hosting a regional tournament. Three teams from each district will move on to the 32-team regional format.

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