Shelby Miles works on her shooting while coach David Bruner watches during the Soroco High School girls basketball practice Wednesday evening. The Rams will open the season tonight in North Park.

Photo by John F. Russell

Shelby Miles works on her shooting while coach David Bruner watches during the Soroco High School girls basketball practice Wednesday evening. The Rams will open the season tonight in North Park.

Speed key to Soroco girls basketball team's success

Rams start season today at North Park

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2010-11 Soroco girls basketball schedule

(Schedule, times are for junior varsity and varsity)

Today: 4:30 and 6 p.m. at North Park

Monday: 4:30 and 6 p.m. vs. Steamboat JV,

Tuesday: 4:30 and 6 p.m. vs. Moffat County JV

Dec. 18: 2:30 p.m. at Gilpin County

Jan. 14: 4 and 5:30 p.m. vs. Rangely*

Jan. 15: 1 and 4 p.m. at Vail Christian

Jan. 21: 3:30 and 5 p.m. at Plateau Valley*

Jan. 22: 1 and 4 p.m. at West Grand

Jan. 28: 4:30 and 6 p.m. vs. Hayden

Jan. 29: 1 and 2:30 p.m. at Paonia*

Feb. 4: 4:30 p.m. vs. North Park*

Feb. 5: 1 and 2:30 p.m. vs. West Grand*

Feb. 8: 4:30 and 6 p.m. vs. Vail Christian*

Feb. 11: 1 and 7 p.m. at Hayden*

Feb. 12: 1 and 2:30 p.m. at Meeker

Feb. 18: 4 p.m. vs. Vail Mountain (JV only)

Feb. 19: 11 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. at Battle Mountain

Feb. 22: District Tournament

Feb. 25 and 26: District Tournament

March 4 and 5: Regional Tournament

March 10 to 12: State Tournament in Pueblo

*league games

— There will be plenty of familiar faces on the floor tonight when the members of the Soroco High School girls basketball team step onto the basketball court for the season opener against North Park.

“We all know how to work together as a team,” senior Corey Snyder said. “We are ahead of last year because we’ve all played together, and we’ve gotten better.”

Snyder said she attended camps this summer with her teammates and thinks the team is going to be stronger than last year’s team, which finished the season at 5-5 in the league and 7-8 overall. That team lost in the first round of the district playoffs to Meeker.

“We are returning all five of our starters,” Soroco coach David Bruner said. “I have eight girls back this year that saw playing time last season.”

Bruner won’t say if the starting lineup will be identical to last year’s, but he said he hopes the team’s experience will help the Rams contend in the Western Slope League. He expects Paonia, who won last year’s state title, to be strong again this season and thinks the rest of the league is fairly balanced.

“It’s exciting,” senior Ceanna Rossi said. “We’ve got a lot of depth this season, so we will not have to play the whole game. We will be able to go all-out knowing that we will get a break.”

The coach expects the Rams to be led by Snyder, who was all-league last season, and Rossi. Juniors Madison George and Lindsay and Shelby Miles also will be back and should play pivotal roles in the Rams offense again this season. The coach also said he hopes senior Caitlyn Berry, sophomore Micaela Meyer and junior Brandi Roundtree will add depth to the Rams.

“I think our experience and our speed will be the keys to our success this season,” Bruner said. “We don’t have a lot of size, but we will have a fast-paced offense that gets up and down the court.”

Bruner plans to use the team’s depth to keep pressure on opposing teams and will continue to pressure teams defensively.

The team will open the season tonight in North Park and will play the first home game of the season against the Steamboat Springs junior varsity team at 4:30 p.m. and 6 p.m. Monday.

Bruner said he doesn’t place too much importance on the game before the holiday break.

“It’s a chance for us to fine-tune the things we need to work,” Bruner said.

He said the first key game of the season is Jan. 14, when the Rams play the first league contest of the season against Rangely.

“I think we will be a lot scrappier this season,” Berry said. “We’ve all gotten a lot better, and I think we can keep moving up the ladder. We have a lot of chemistry, and we don’t have to start from scratch this season.”

— To reach John F. Russell, call 871-4209 or e-mail jrussell@steamboatpilot.com

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