Soroco hoops set for big weekend

Girls, boys basketball face De Beque today, Meeker on Saturday

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If you go

What: Soroco boys and girls basketball vs De Beque

Where: Soroco High School

When: Girls start at 5 p.m., boys at 6:30 p.m. today

Soroco girls basketball, 2008-09

Soroco boys basketball, 2008-09

— A victory in tonight's game against De Beque is important to the Soroco High School girls basketball team for all the obvious reasons.

A win would nudge the team, currently 4-6, within one win of .500. A win, potentially the first since the holiday break, would instill confidence in a young team.

But perhaps most important, Rams coach David Bruner said, could be the effect a win might have on Saturday's treacherous showdown at Meeker.

"We need to play really well because right away we go to Meeker," Bruner said. "We need to put some pressure on De Beque, make the easy shots and hopefully build a little confidence."

The Meeker Cowboys are 9-3 this season and one of the top teams in the Western Slope League. They lost last weekend to Hayden but should offer the Rams all they can handle.

Against De Beque, Soroco should find a much easier - but still challenging - test. The Dragons have struggled mightily at times, losing, 62-12, at West Grand earlier this month.

It amounts to a winnable game for a Soroco squad that has struggled recently.

"They're very inexperienced, but we still need to come in, play well and improve," Bruner said. "We need to get our transition game going and get a quick start."

Soroco will need all the steam it can build heading into the Meeker contest. Bruner said the key to upsetting the Cowboys will be stopping their top two players, the inside-outside tandem of Marke Cook and Janae Kendall, both of whom average nearly 20 points a game.

"They are big, a lot like Hayden's girls," Bruner said, recalling his team's 73-42 loss to the Tigers. "We have to use our strengths, play good defense and run our transition game. The main thing will be on offense. When we get good looks, we have to finish if we want to have a chance to win."

Boys look for weekend wins

The Soroco boys basketball team has seemingly barely broken a sweat since sustaining its lone loss of the season, a 63-54 setback last month at Hayden.

Since then, the Rams (9-1) easily have beaten three teams and won a key league game against Rangely.

Now the squad will look to keep its momentum going against a De Beque squad that has struggled.

"They're undersized but have some pretty good shooters," Soroco coach Sam McLeod said. "We will have to do a good job defending the perimeter to keep them on their heels."

The Dragons were stuffed, 80-50, last week against Hayden, but De Beque's junior shooting guard, Dwight Berner, put on a show. He sank five 3-point shots and led all scorers in the game with 20 points.

"He has a really quick release, so we will need to try and limit him and force other players to step up and score when they aren't used to it," McLeod said. "We need to limit his touches and get some long arms in his face."

McLeod said the key to Saturday's showdown at Meeker will be turnovers.

"If our kids can make good decisions against Meeker, we'll be right there," he said. "Meeker is going to match up with us athletically at every position, but if we're not turning the ball over, we're a tough team to play against.

"I'm proud of the way the kids are playing, but the next seven games are a lot more important than the last 10. What we've been playing like doesn't matter now as much as it does how we play from here on out."

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