Oak Creek Soroco girls basketball head coach Danelle Rivera saw both the good and bad of a young team Friday against North Park.
In the Rams' 52-35 loss, the youth and inexperience of a team playing three juniors, a sophomore and a lone senior played out in the first half.
North Park went on a 23-2 run at the end of the first quarter and beginning of the second quarter to take a 27-11 lead into halftime. The Rams struggled, shooting just 5-of-21 in the first half. Soroco also committed 14 turnovers in the first half and got to the foul line only twice.
In the second half, Rivera saw that youth also can be a good thing. Instead of letting the game become a blowout, the Rams battled back.
The Rams outscored the Lady Cats 26-25 in the second half, including a 6-0 run to start the fourth quarter behind buckets from Sarajane Rossi and Kelsey Samuelson. The Rams closed the gap to 11 points on two Rossi free throws, at 43-32, three minutes into the fourth quarter.
But North Park's inside duo of Cassie Corkle and Kelsey Souza proved to be too much.
The two Lady Cat forwards scored nine of the final 12 points in the last four minutes of the game to give North Park the win.
Corkle and Souza combined to score 34 points and grab 22 rebounds.
Rossi and Samuelson scored 14 points each and added seven rebounds apiece for the Rams.
"Sometimes youth is a good thing in where the name of the opponent you face doesn't mean anything to the younger girls," Rivera said. "North Park's got a dynasty going."
Rivera was happy with the effort and said the Rams will surprise other teams in the league.
"I think there is a lot of room for improvement," Rivera said. "I tell them that the list of positives is huge, but there is definitely room for improvement. On a scale of one to 10, I would say we're probably at a six."