Dragons shooters beat Rams girls

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Midway through the fourth quarter, with the game all but decided, DeBeque's Haylee Graham fired a three-point shot.

It banked in. That was the kind of night DeBeque had, defeating Soroco, 50-37, on Thursday in Oak Creek.

Of course, Graham was on target for most of the game, finishing with a game-high 18 points, including 12 from behind the arc to lead the Dragons against the Rams.

Graham's teammate Julie Palmer added 13.

Paige Iacovetto led Soroco with 12 points. Katie Schalnus scored eight, and Nichole Wilson added five for the Rams, as well.

The Rams opened up an 11-6 lead by the end of the first quarter, breaking the press and finding Wilson for two easy buckets midway through the first.

But Wilson and Lindsay Ellis picked up two first-quarter fouls, forcing Wilson out for portions of the first and second quarters. Ellis did not play much of the first or at all in the second.

"When I have two of my starters out for an entire quarter, it hurts," Soroco coach Danelle Rivera said. "Half of them are fouls they know are stupid. They just get so frustrated with themselves, 'I missed a defensive assignment, let me reach, or I missed a shot, so let me foul the girl who got the rebound.'"

In their absence, DeBeque went on an 8-0 run to open the second quarter. Iacovetto broke a four-minute Rams scoring drought with 4:02 left in the second.

By then, however, DeBeque had found its rhythm from behind the arc with Amanda Graham and Haylee Graham combining to hit four 3-pointers in the second quarter.

The Dragons picked up where they left off to start the third, scoring the first four points of the quarter off turnovers created with a smothering half-court trap. DeBeque built a 14-point lead before Soroco's Cortni Denning converted a three-point play with 3:32 left in the third.

The Dragons answered with a three-point play on their next trip down the court to push their lead back to 14. Soroco went on a mini-run near the end with baskets from Ellis and Schalnus, who continues to give the Rams a reliable offensive presence inside.

"She sees opportunities so well," Rivera said of Schalnus. "She's worked in order to get those moves."

DeBeque stretched its lead to 18 in the final four minutes, but several steals from Soroco's Kyla Schmidt, who sat most of the third and fourth quarters with foul trouble, as well, helped create more offensive opportunities for her teammates down the stretch.

Schalnus benefited the most, scoring six of her eight points in the fourth quarter.

Soroco (1-10 overall) is back on the court at 6:30 p.m. today against rival Hayden in Hayden. The Tigers defeated the Rams earlier this season in a nonleague game, but tonight's game will count toward final league standings.

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