Soroco's Alex Estes fights for a rebound Saturday as the Rams beat Vail Christian, 48-42.

Photo by Joel Reichenberger

Soroco's Alex Estes fights for a rebound Saturday as the Rams beat Vail Christian, 48-42.

Soroco boys basketball outlasts Vail Christian

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SOROCO BOYS 48, VAIL CHRISTIAN 42

Vail Christian — Robby Bowles 2 0-0 6, Frenando Hernandez 2 0-0 5, Teller Emmer 1 0-0 2, Granger Moch 5 3-3 15, Larry Cavanaugh 3 2-2 8, Kieran Hurtt 0 2-2 2, Zach Linder 2 0-0 4, Steil Beagley 0 0-2 0. Totals 15 7-9 42.

Soroco (3-1) — Michael Rossi 3 0-0 7, Alex Estes 3 2-2 8, Cody Miles 5 8-13 18, Nic Paxton 0 2-2 2, Pie Lombardi 2 0-2 5, Leif Carlson 1 3-6 5, Matt Watwood 1 1-2 3. Totals 14 16-27 48.

3-pointers: Vail Christian (5) — Bowles 2, Moch 2, Hernandez. Soroco (2) — Rossi, Lombardi.

SOROCO GIRLS 66, VAIL CHRISTIAN 25

Vail Christian  9-6-2-8 — 25

Soroco 15-18-15-18 — 66

Vail Christian — Mekenzie O’Brien 1 0-0 2, Kylie Alexander 5 0-0 10, Emily Irwin 4 1-3 9, Ashlyn Gruber 2 0-0 4, Dakota Francis 0 0-8 0. Totals 12 1-11 25.

Soroco (2-1) — Caitlyn Berry 3 0-2 7, Madison George 4 4-8 12, Lindsay Miles 1 0-0 2, Corey Snyder 4 4-4 12, Shelby Miles 7 5-6 19, Micaela Meyer 1 0-0 2, Ceanna Rossi 4 2-4 10, Bethany Leu 1 0-0 2. Totals 25 15-23 66.

3-pointers: Soroco (1) — George

— At its best, Vail Christian showed its sharpshooting could keep it in a game with the Soroco boys basketball team Saturday in Oak Creek.

It was the Rams’ steady approach that eventually carried the day, however, and Soroco defended its home court with a narrow 48-42 victory.

“We’re still developing, getting together as teammates and learning to play together,” junior Michael Rossi said. “Tonight, we were a little sloppy, but this was a good lesson for us. We need to win these close games to show us we can do it and give us confidence.”

Soroco senior Cody Miles scored 18 points to lead all scorers as seven Rams poured in buckets to contribute to the effort.

Soroco led early, and a fourth-quarter surge ensured Vail Christian’s comeback bid would come up short.

A pair of Miles free throws gave Soroco a 34-33 lead at the end of the third quarter. Those two points would be the start of a 9-0 run that opened up a little breathing room. Senior Matt Watwood, in his first game in the lineup after breaking his ankle during the football season, scored on an assist from Miles. Rossi sank a short pull-up jumper then drained a 3-point shot from the corner to establish an eight-point lead.

“Lately, I’ve been off on my shot, so I made sure I went through the motions and made sure not to put too much thought into it — to make it just natural,” Rossi said about the dagger 3-pointer. “I knew it was a close game, and if I was going to shoot, I’d need to make it or I’d be in some trouble.”

After junior Pie Lombardi added one more 3-point shot, the team had enough points to hang on for the win.

Early in the game, it appeared a strong fourth-quarter might not be necessary. Soroco had a 21-16 lead midway through the second quarter but had to play much of the half without one of its best scorers and ball handlers, Alex Estes.

Estes, the starting point guard, picked up three fouls in the first quarter. After playing most of the third, he picked up his fourth before the start of the final frame.

But he made the most of his time, scoring eight points. Rossi finished with seven, and Pie Lombardi and Leif Carlson each had five. Watwood had three points, and Nic Paxton had two points.

Vail Christian was led by Granger Moch, who had 15 points. The team’s top player, Larry Cavanaugh, suffered through foul trouble that mirrored Estes’ problems.

“We fought through adversity well,” Soroco coach Sam McLeod said. “We were both going through the same thing. Without Alex, we were in a bind on the perimeter, but we had a freshman, Nic Paxton, step up and handle the ball well on the perimeter.”

Soroco girls team turns

tables in 66-25 victory

The Soroco girls basketball team couldn’t crack 20 percent in field goal percentage in a Friday night loss to Hayden. Just one day later, everything was different, and so was the outcome. The team made 25 of 68 shots from the field Saturday against Vail Christian. That was more than enough as the Rams rolled to win, 66-25.

“We shot the ball better. That’s all it was,” Soroco coach David Bruner said. “We got up and down the floor and shot a lot of the same shots. We just made more.”

Sophomore Madison George recovered from a rough Friday night game with 12 points and seven assists. Corey Snyder scored 12, as well, including 8 in the first quarter that gave Soroco a 15-9 lead. Ceanna Rossi had 13 rebounds and 10 points, and Caitlyn Berry had 7 points.

Fine performances all, but sophomore Shelby Miles stole the show. She had 19 to lead all scorers, including 10 in the fourth quarter.

“Shelby played awesome. She shot the ball well,” Bruner said. “Overall, it was just a better game. We were getting the same kind of shots. We shot a lot better from the outside, and with our size that’s what we have to do if we’re going to win games.”

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