Patience pays off for Rams

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The Soroco girls basketball team is starting to learn the importance of patience, and it is paying off.

Saturday, Soroco overcame an eight-point halftime deficit by valuing the ball and running coach Bob Johnson's offense on its way to a 51-40 win over Paonia.

The Rams have struggled to bring the ball up against a full-court press in earlier games this season, but Soroco showed poise and patience, particularly in the second half Saturday, to get the league victory.

"Instead of rushing it, we slowed down," senior Hallie Shiner said.

And instead of letting the Eagles' Nicki Poulos score at will, the Rams started to match up and contest shots after halftime.

"Their half-court offense killed us in the first half," Johnson said. "We didn't match up when (Poulos) came down. In the second half, we picked up everyone sooner."

Increased defensive pressure led to more steals and subsequent easier shots. In the past two games -- both Soroco wins -- the players started to get a better feel for their game on both ends of the court.

"The shots are starting to come," junior Lindsay Ellis said.

More important, they are starting to fall. The Rams, known more for their defense than offense, have scored a combined 95 points between the Paonia game and Friday's win at Plateau Valley.

Meanwhile, the defense surrendered just 63 points Friday and Saturday.

Offensively, junior Paige Iacovetto led the Rams with 12 points Saturday. Shiner had 10 points, and senior Chelsey Reynolds had nine to go along with Ellis' eight points.

In Friday's 44-23 win over Plateau Valley, Shiner and fellow senior Kaleyne Gneiser each had 10 points, while junior Nichole Wilson chipped in with eight points.

"Friday was Nichole's best game of the season," Johnson said.

With the back-to-back wins, Soroco improves to 7-5 overall and 3-2 in the Western Slope League.

The Rams return to action at 4 p.m. Jan. 30 in Rangely.

-- To reach Melinda Mawdsley call 871-4208

or e-mail mmawdsley@steamboatpilot.com

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