A tough bounce

Soroco boys basketball loses game, lead in OT

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— The Soroco boys basketball team seems to have solved its fourth-quarter comeback ailments.

Against West Grand on Saturday, the Rams couldn't finish their chances - and their opponents couldn't miss from the foul line.

On Tuesday, against Vail Christian, Soroco nailed its shots in the closing minute of the fourth quarter to tie the game and send it to overtime.

Now the Rams just have to figure out how to win in extra periods.

Soroco's David Roberts made a key steal and broke away from the defenders for an easy basket to give Soroco the lead with just more than a minute left in the extra four-minute period.

But Vail Christian's most unlikely scorers came up big.

Saints freshman Larry Cavanaugh made the first varsity points of his career - two foul shots - to tie the game, and sophomore A.J. Burgess hit a jumper to give the Saints a 64-66 lead.

Vail Christian tagged on another foul shot to carry a three-point lead into the closing seconds of overtime. Soroco had a clean look from outside the arc, but when Steven Meade's shot clanked off the rim, the Rams' hopes deflated. The game ended, 67-64.

"It eats your heart out," Meade said after the game.

The Rams carried a 30-23 lead into the half. But the Saints fed their tandem of towering post players in the third quarter - Caleb Pearson and Jaryd Francis combined for the Saints' entire scoring effort in the quarter, outscoring the Rams, 18-15.

Soroco still maintained the lead going into the fourth quarter behind solid post play from Meade, who scored all of his 15 points in the second half. Bryan Spaeth led Soroco with 22 points.

Down five points with under a minute to go, Soroco sophomore Ryan Tibbetts sunk a clutch 3-pointer, and on the next possession, Meade grabbed an offensive rebound and put back the tying points to force overtime.

"We knew we were in for a dog fight," Vail Christian coach Sheldon Kuhns said. "We just had one more bucket than they did."

Soroco plays at Hayden at 7:30 p.m. Friday.

- To reach Dave Shively, call 871-4253

or e-mail dshively@steamboatpilot.com

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