Steamboat Springs The compliments have been warmly received, but Andy Smith expected the Soroco boys basketball team to win games, so it shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone that it is.
Soroco went 2-1 overall at the season-opening DeBeque Tournament held last Saturday and Sunday.
Last season, the Rams won three games total so it's easy to understand why teachers and students in South Routt are pleased with the turnaround even if the season just started.
"People are coming up and saying, 'It seems like you guys are doing better,'" Smith said. "To me, I expect that to happen, but we've got a long ways to go."
Soroco opened the tournament with a 54-51 win over Nucla.
"We came out strong and stayed strong the whole game," Smith said. "From halftime on we led the game. We kept at it."
In the next game, Soroco came up against host DeBeque, losing 75-58.
"We played a team that was really good. They really were," Smith said. "We let off for a while and couldn't get back into it, but the guys ended it with their heads up even though we got beat by quite a bit."
Fatigue normally comes into play in the final game of a tournament, but Smith said his players were able to play through any they may have had, defeating Plateau Valley 45-42 in the Rams' final game in DeBeque.
"It was back and forth until the fourth quarter," Smith said. "And then we really went at them and stayed ahead for the rest of the game."
Smith said he played seven to nine guys during the tournament, but the amount of running Soroco does in practice appeared to serve its purpose in DeBeque.
"Basically, our execution was the biggest thing we had problems on," Smith said regarding his team's overall play. "We know it all and they know what's going on and what I expect. That's a huge thing we're going to work on."
Junior William Ford averaged 15 points a game during the tournament to lead the Rams. Sophomore Tony Iacovetto averaged 12.
Smith said junior Matt Cartas stood out for his team on the boards.
Soroco returns to action on Saturday when it hosts South Park at 4 p.m.
"I think we'll come out fired up," Smith said.
To reach Melinda Mawdsley call 871-4208 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org