Wednesday, December 6, 2006
Steamboat Springs The Soroco boys basketball team opened its regular season with three games at a tournament in De Beque and walked away with one spectacular win.
In its Saturday game against De Beque, Soroco was tied at 46 with 13 seconds left. De Beque moved the ball up the court into the midst of a Soroco trap. But Rams' senior Bryan Spaeth stole a pass at the top of the key and let a shot fly from half-court as time expired. The ball went off the glass and in, sealing Soroco's 49-46 win.
"We played a lot better in the fourth quarter, enough to win," Soroco coach Sam McLeod said. "It showed some character."
The Rams opened the game with a strong offensive effort, McLeod said. The Rams went ahead 15 points behind Spaeth's 16 first-half points.
Steven Meade grabbed 16 rebounds in the game and averaged 12 points in the tournament.
In the third quarter, Soroco ceded 10 turnovers to De Beque and managed only a pair of baskets from freshman Alex Estes.
"We let them back in but played solid in the fourth to give us a chance to win," McLeod said.
Soroco began the tournament on Friday with a 54-25 loss to Plateau Valley. McLeod said his team had difficulty penetrating Plateau Valley's stingy 1-2-2 defense.
Freshman Cody Miles notched 11 points in the game.
Plateau Valley went on to win the tournament.
Soroco finished its tournament play with a Saturday loss to Nucla, 60-29. McLeod said Nucla brought a squad of "phenomenal athletes" that ran the ball effectively and kept Soroco out of the paint.
"We know where we need to get," McLeod said. "Our transition is there, we're just one step off, one step away: We realize how to play together, holding good teams to low scores on defense, it's a matter of maintaining that level of disciplines and intensity."
The Soroco girls faced the same game schedule at the De Beque tournament and also returned with a win.
Soroco dropped its first game to Plateau Valley, 57-24. Soroco coach Danelle Rivera said her young squad was searching for ways to play together in the first game of the season.
"The first game is always a mental game," Rivera said. "There's that pressure of players asking themselves, 'Where are we at?'"
With that initial pressure gone in their Saturday game against De Beque, Rivera said her team played its best basketball of the tournament. Sarajane Rossi and Kelsey Samuelson led the Rams in the game. Samuelson hit a 20-foot shot to tie the game and send it to overtime, but Rivera said her team was unable to seal the win.
The Rams finally grabbed a win in their second game on Saturday, against Nucla. Despite the lop-sided 54-19 final score, Rivera called it a "sloppy win." She said her team deferred to a quick, mistake-ridden running game.
Rivera was pleased with her team's growth throughout the tournament.
Soroco heads to Vail Christian on Saturday.
The Soroco girls will play at 1 p.m., followed by the boys' team at 2:30 p.m.