Rams comeback effort comes up short

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— If the Soroco boys basketball team continues to play like it did in the third quarter of Friday's game against North Park, the Rams will beat a lot of teams.

If the team plays like it did in the first half, the boys won't beat anybody.

In the 65-51 loss to the Wildcats, the Rams looked like two completely different teams.

In the first half, Soroco was miserable.

The team shot 22 percent (8-of-36) from the field, missed its lone two free throw attempts, turned the ball over 16 times, experienced two scoring droughts of more than three minutes and went into the second half down 39-17.

"We played absolutely the worst basketball possible in the first half," Soroco head coach Sam McLeod said. "But they still had the guts to come out in the third quarter and put themselves back into the game."

What started as a 22-point deficit to begin the third quarter was quickly whittled down to 13 three minutes into the quarter.

Keyed by 10 third quarter points from Bryan Spaeth, the Rams were remarkably better in the third quarter. They shot 10-of-19 from the field, forced nine North Park turnovers and outscored the Wildcats 22-8 in the quarter.

"We weren't playing like a team in the first half," said Spaeth, who finished with a game-high 25 points and added six rebounds and four steals. "In the second half we started making shots."

In the fourth quarter, the Rams continued to control the pace of play. Spaeth's layup with 3 minutes, 56 seconds left in the fourth quarter brought the rams within six points at 57-51.

But Soroco wouldn't score again.

Four Rams turnovers in the last two minutes coupled with the Wildcats 10-of-16 shooting from the free throw line in the fourth quarter wiped out any hope of a Soroco comeback.

Cody Miles added 10 points and Steven Meade had six points and 12 rebounds in the comeback effort.

"It was just too much to overcome," McLeod said of the first half performance. "We played as bad as we can possibly play in that first half : it was almost like a nightmare that wouldn't stop."

Soroco next plays at West Grand on Monday.

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