Soroco teams stay undefeated with wins over North Park |

Soroco teams stay undefeated with wins over North Park

North Park freshman Dezirae Gonzales and Soroco High School junior Sophia Benjamin battle for a rebound during a game in Oak Creek on Saturday. (Photo by Shelby Reardon)

Balanced offense leads Soroco girls over North Park

OAK CREEK — North Park outscored the Soroco High School girls basketball team 16-14 in the second quarter, but the Rams built such a big lead in the first, they still led 37-18 at halftime.

An otherwise dominant game resulted in a 65-38 victory for the Rams. Soroco stayed undefeated while serving North Park its first loss.

Soroco came out hot, putting away a trio of 3-pointers in the first quarter. Junior Kayedence Bruner scored the first 6 points while senior Makinley Parker and junior Peyton Parker added shots from behind the arc. Sophomore Shelby Geiger and Bruner scored a couple 2-point shots from on the line as well.

The Rams led 23-2 after the first.

“We knew they had some good shooters, and we knew we had to perform at our best,” said Peyton Parker. “We came out ready, and it seemed to pay off pretty well. We just fed off each other’s energy, and it was a lot of fun.”

North Park, who came in 3-0, was stunned.

“Where are they beating us?” North Park head coach Nick Cornelison asked his team during an early timeout.

“The outside,” they said.

They cracked down from that point on, allowing just two more 3-pointers early in the second, then none after that.

Aside from accurate shooting, another key to Soroco’s non-stop offense was second-chance shots. Soroco was excellent rebounding on the offensive end. They had multiple chances to make shots if the first second or even third didn’t go in.

When North Park got more aggressive with rebounds, they were able to close the gap.

The Wildcats were led by junior Paige Sanchez, who scored a game-high 23 points. She was effortless on the floor, weaving in and out of Rams with ease before gracefully floating the ball up to the basket.

“She’s a good player. She’s one of the best players in our league,” said Soroco head coach David Bruner. “She’s averaging 22. She scored 23 against us. It’s pretty much what she does.”

In the second half, all the pieces came back together. Soroco limited North Park to just seven points while adding 19 of their own.

Geiger led the Rams with 12 points, while Peyton Parker followed with 11, and Makinley Parker and Eden Mayer netted 10 each.

Soroco boys move to 3-0 with win over North Park

Soroco High School seniors Liam Yaconiello, left, and Tyler Koler-Wixom put pressure on North Park sophomore Troy Gonzales during a game in Oak Creek on Saturday. (Photo by Shelby Reardon)

The Soroco High School boys basketball team played what head coach Jody Gregory called its sloppiest game of the year, but even with mistakes, the Rams came out on top 59-40 against North Park to move to 3-0.

“That’s the sloppiest I’ve seen them play all year. We’re better than that,” Gregory said. “But we got a win.”

North Park was not intimidated by Soroco’s 5-0 lead to start the game Saturday. Shots from sophomores Preston Gonzales and Montgomery Ramsey quickly made the score 6-5 in favor of the Wildcats.

The teams were even for most of the quarter until the fouls started to add up for North Park.

Soroco junior Joey McLaughlin was sent to the line twice in just over a minute and went 4-for-4 from the line to stretch the Rams lead to 19-13 at the end of the first.

A rebound and score from sophomore Bradley Hoskinson and a deep 3-pointer from senior Liam Yaconiello pushed Soroco out in front 24-13 in the first minute of the second quarter.

With few subs, the North Park team looked gassed, and their play got sloppy. They had offensive chances, but the shots weren’t falling at the same rate as they were in the first. Despite their best efforts, the gap wasn’t shrinking.

The Soroco players were also trying to catch their breath. They zipped around the court, but weren’t taking care of the ball. Even with the mistakes, the gap slowly grew.

The Rams led 33-22 at the half.

“Pure hustle,” said Gregory of his team’s offense. “They wanted to win that game. That’s the most I’ve seen them on the floor.”

Senior Tyler Koler-Wixom was steady all night, leading the Rams with 20 points. Yaconiello followed with 14 and senior Chase Delamater added 12.

The Wildcats cleaned up their act in the second half, fouling just four times. They also had their most productive quarter in the fourth, scoring 14 points, but Soroco’s advantage was too big.

The Rams were happy to have such a huge lead, as they couldn’t hold on to the ball.

“(We have to) take control of the ball, slow down on offense and not turn it over as much,” McLaughlin said. “And take care of ourselves on defense.”

While the Rams are undefeated at 3-0, they haven’t seen a truly tough opponent yet. Next week they’ll travel to play West Grand and Vail Chrisitian, two teams that pile on the offense, before hosting No. 11 Meeker next Saturday.

“This week is going to be our challenge,” Gregory said.


Soroco 65, North Park 38

S 23 14 19 9 – 65

NP 2 16 7 13 – 38

Scoring: NP, Paige Sanchez 23, D Gonzales 5. S, Shelby Geiger 12, Peyton Parker 11, Makinley Parker 10, Eden Mayer 10, Kayedence Bruner 9, Kylee Coleman 4, Sophia Benjamin 4, Irene Hoff 2, Lexi Vandenburg 2.


Soroco 59, North Park 40

S 19 14 8 18 – 59

NP 13 9 4 14 – 40

Scoring: NP, Ace Nugent 13, Montgomery Ramsey 8. S, Tyler Koler-Wixom 20, Liam Yaconiello 14, Chase Delamater 12, Joey McLaughlin 6, Bradley Hoskinson 4, Jed Kirby 3, Luke Duksa 2.

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