Oak Creek After a tough 44-28 loss Friday night at North Park, the Soroco High School girls basketball team was searching for answers before Saturday's game against Rangely.
The Rams found those answers against the Panthers, in their home opener in Oak Creek. Down, 23-19, at the half, Soroco pulled together to establish a lead it held onto for a 44-40 win.
"Sometimes we'll be losing and then come back and not win," Soroco senior point guard Glenda Long said of her team's past defects. "It was nice to see the fight in everyone's eyes that we wouldn't give up even down to the last second : it was a hard-work win in a tough situation."
The Rams played hard to the final whistle, and established a secure lead with a minute to go.
Aryn Kresl had a pair of steals in the final two minutes of the game, finding Sarajane Rossi and Kelsey Samuelson in transition to help Soroco keep the five-point leads over the Panthers until it was too late for any last-minute miracles.
"They were not happy after last night," Soroco coach Danelle Rivera said of the team. "They were hungry and a little mad at themselves, so I think they got their vengeance back : This doesn't count as a league win, but every single win is a step in the right direction, and mentally, it helps them figure out who they are."
Long led the Rams with 12 points and Samuelson and Rossi each added 11, which included the five consecutive points Rossi scored to open the fourth quarter and expand Soroco's lead to seven points.
Rangely was also coming off a tough Friday loss, to 3A opponent Coal Ridge.
"We didn't really attack the basket well, and I think we panicked a little when they set up their press," Rangely coach Jimmie Mergelman said.
Now the Rams look to carry the confidence into their next game, 7 p.m. Thursday at rival Hayden.
"We're very excited about Hayden - hopefully get some revenge from last season," Long said.
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