Soroco basketball to turn to defense against Plateau Valley

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Soroco girls basketball, 2008-09

Soroco boys basketball, 2008-09

The Soroco High School boys basketball team stumbled across its worst quarter of the season at the most inopportune time. It led Meeker, the No. 3 team in Class 2A, by eight points after one quarter and two at halftime.

A disastrous third quarter - the Rams were outscored, 26-10 - precipitated the team's second loss of the season.

Now Soroco will try and salvage the pride that came with putting a top team on the ropes. The Rams play at 7 p.m. today against another Class 2A power, No. 6 Plateau Valley.

"We are definitely capable," Rams coach Sam McLeod said. "If we do the things we're working on, execute and keep our heads, we can without a doubt compete with Plateau Valley."

McLeod said defense is the key to avoiding another disastrous stretch like the one suffered in the Meeker game.

The Cowboys drained five 3-point shots in those eight minutes and proved equally accurate from everywhere on the court. All those baskets destroyed Soroco's go-to fast break offense, which operates much more effectively after a rebound.

"Our scoring lightened up, they didn't miss and didn't give us many opportunities," McLeod said. "We have to be better about getting back on defense. We have to get some stops or you won't be successful against one of the best teams in the state."

Ram Girls play Plateau Valley

The Soroco girls basketball team might as well be looking in a mirror for the 5:30 p.m. showdown today against Plateau Valley.

Both teams enter the game 5-7. Both teams lost close games to North Park and struggled against District 5 leaders such as Hayden and Meeker.

Coming away victorious in a clash of equals could be a major step for a young Rams squad.

"It would be a huge stepping stone," Soroco coach David Bruner said. "As young as we are, if we could go on the road and beat a team like that, it would be huge."

The game has the potential to do more than lift Soroco's spirits, however. The outcome of the game could prove crucial in district tournament seeding.

"Right now we could finish anywhere between fifth and eighth," Bruner said. "We play West Grand next week, and they're right there, too. These next two games will be pretty pivotal in sorting it out. We need to keep playing better every week."

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