Beaten to the boards

Soroco girls hoopsters drop game to West Grand

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— The Soroco girls came out and tried to set the tempo in the second half of their Saturday game against West Grand.

The Rams outscored the Mustangs - a team they had beaten in their previous meeting - 22-20 in the third and fourth quarters. But the effort was a little too late. The Rams lost the game, 40-33.

Soroco dug into a hole in the first half, scoring a mere three points in the first-quarter.

"Our heart wasn't in it," Soroco's Amanda Wilson said. "We didn't have the energy and weren't feeding off each other."

"We played to their level instead of to our potential," Kelsey Samuelson added.

The Soroco girls' play surprised coach Danelle Rivera, who was pleased with how well her girls stuck with a talented and well-balanced Meeker squad the night before, despite losing 57-31.

Soroco responded to a 13-point deficit in the third quarter with a pair of back-to-back buckets from Glenda Long and nice shooting from Samuelson and Bailey Carrell to cut the West Grand lead to seven.

"We just wanted to get ahead so bad, we focused on what we could do individually instead of as a team," Wilson said.

The Rams had another scoring surge in the fourth quarter behind Samuelson, who drained 6 of her team-leading 11 points in the final period to bring Soroco within four points. But that was as close as the Rams would come.

Much of West Grand's scoring opportunities came from dominating Soroco on both ends of the floor in rebounds.

The Mustangs' sizable trio of Jessica Elliot, Rose Hargadine and Anita O'Neill combined for 30 boards. Soroco's top rebounding contributors, Toni Lombardi, Wilson and Samuelson, grabbed 17.

"I'm proud of my girls for hanging in for the win," West Grand coach Sara Miller said of her team's first league win. "With all the pressure Soroco brought - that was some fierce man-to-man pressure to overcome."

The Soroco girls take on Vail Christian at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday at home.

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