Rams lose heartbreaker in home finale

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The Soroco Rams wrapped up the regular season Saturday night with an emotional overtime loss at home to Plateau Valley.

But now that the regular season is over, the time to focus on a post-season run is at hand.

"The kids played really hard against Plateau Valley, and it came down to the final shot," coach Andy Smith said.

Unfortunately, the final shot didn't fall, and the Rams dropped their sixth straight game, 59-58.

The Rams rolled through three quarters of Saturday's home finale. They held a 24-15 lead at the half and were up 33-30 after three quarters of play. But Plateau Valley outscored the home team, 20-17, in the fourth to force the overtime.

Each team scored six points in the first four-minute period. But Plateau Valley netted a 3-pointer to take a one-point advantage with time running out. Soroco got one last chance, but the shot missed the mark as the buzzer sounded.

The good news is that the team will get one last chance to salvage the season in the first round of the district tournament at 1 p.m. Saturday.

The bad news is that if the Rams want to advance to the four-team finals, they will need to upset Rangely -- the top team in the league. Rangely is 7-0 in league and 16-3 overall.

"We played Rangely pretty tough (48-33) at the beginning of the year," Smith said. "This will be a good chance to see how we've improved and if we've grown up."

The game could be the final one for seniors Tony Iacovetto, Ben Montoya and Dennis Laurk. Smith is hoping that, win or lose, it will be a learning experience that will carry over to next season for the team's four sophomores and two juniors.

Iacovetto led the Rams in Soroco's 72-44 loss to West Grand on Friday with 22 points, five rebounds and two steals. He also led the team against Plateau Valley with 29 points and four rebounds. The senior averaged 17 points a game this season.

Montoya also has played a solid senior season. He has averaged eight points a game and netted 10 against West Grand on Friday and seven in the contest against Plateau Valley. He was a perfect three-for-three from the foul line and two-for-three from two-point range.

--To reach John F. Russell call 871-4209

or e-mail jrussell@steamboatpilot.com

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