Friday, December 17, 2004
It doesn't matter how many summer team camps, open gyms or practices a team goes through, a coach can't teach height and a player can't learn to be taller.
And the biggest difference between the Soroco and North Park girls basketball teams was the disparity down low, as the Wildcats won, 76-15, on Friday night.
"We knew we would have to be at the top of our game to make it a game," Rams coach Danelle Rivera said. "And we did that in the first quarter. You have to stay strong no matter what the score is, and we'll go into league games with that experience."
Laura Hodgson's basket at the 5 minute, 50 second mark in the first quarter gave the Wildcats a lead they would not relinquish.
Soroco played North Park close through the first eight minutes, trailing by just nine at the end of the first, but the Wildcats went on a 14-0 run late in the second to extend their lead to 24 by halftime.
One highlight for Soroco (1-4 overall) was the play of Katie Schalnus, a reserve post player. The junior scored just four points off the bench, but she was active on both ends of the floor. Schalnus, 5-foot-7; senior Nichole Wilson, 5-foot-8; and senior Kalvert Shiner, 5-foot-6, had the unenviable task of trying to defend 6-foot-2 Amanda Jones and 5-foot-11 Cassie Corkle of the Wildcats.
The pair of North Park posts combined to score 47 points in the paint, most of which came on transition baskets or put-backs on offensive rebounds. The Wildcats had 23 offensive rebounds Friday.
"Cassie had an outstanding night," coach Randy Hodgson said. "We have so many options that sometimes teams forget about her."
Junior Kyla Schmidt also scored four points for Soroco in action cut short by foul trouble.
North Park has been one of the best teams in the Western Slope League for the past several years, but this season the Wildcats dropped from Class 2A to Class 1A and will compete in Soroco and Hayden's league but will not be in their postseason brackets.
The next game for the Soroco girls is at 5:30 p.m. Jan. 7 against Rangely.