Oak Creek Just because the Soroco Rams came up short against the West Grand Mustangs Friday night at home, 60-55, it shouldn't overshadow a simply amazing effort made by the home team's standout Brandon Himmerite.
Though the Rams started tough against the 5-2 league Mustangs, the team found themselves down 32-21 at halftime. Then bad went to worse in the third quarter, as the Mustangs went on a 9-0 run, until Justin Spaeth made a free throw at 3:53 left in the third quarter to make the score 41-22.
Just when it looked like it would be a trampling, Himmerite decided his team wasn't going to go down like that.
At 3:00 left in the third quarter, Himmerite went on an epic run. He hit a jumper for two points, making it 41-24; then the next possession he drove the lane and nearly jumped over a Mustang defender for a layup and a foul. He drained the free throw. Then in the last seconds of the third quarter, Himmerite hit the first of five 3-point baskets he made in the second half.
In the fourth, it was all Himmerite, scoring 20 points with jumpers, drives and free throws. Overall, from the 3:00-mark in the third quarter, Himmerite scored 28 of his 35 points in the game to bring the Rams within five, 60-55, when the final buzzer sounded.
"What can I say, Himmerite is a good player," Mustangs coach Leo Pesch said after the game, still a little perplex that his team had dwindled the lead.
"He's coming up big every game," Rams coach Andy Johnson said. "Brandon was huge tonight, without a doubt."
Himmerite left the gym early after the game and couldn't be reached for comment.
Though the loss was heartbreaking, coming off the team's first win of the year against Debeque Tuesday, Johnson said the game was an improvement for his team.
"Like I said before, we are getting better each game," Johnson said.
Himmerite also pulled down seven rebounds. Spaeth had seven points and six rebounds.
James Holmes led the Mustangs in scoring with 21 points.
The Rams are now 0-7 in the league and look ahead to Plateau Valley tonight as its possible first league win.
"It's going to be a real physical game," Rams senior guard Matt Hayne said.