SOROCO GIRLS 50, WEST GRAND 48
West Grand 9-10-15-14 — 48
Soroco (6-5, 2-2) 13-13-14-10 — 50
West Grand — Brook Cecil 5 3-6 13, Erin Beason 1 0-0 2, Jess Raecke 0 0-1 0, Melissa Klaker 4 0-0 8, Taylor Pesch 2 3-4 7, Hannah Howell 7 2-6, 16, Desary Heide 1 0-0 2. Totals 20 8-17 48.
Soroco — Caitlyn Berry 1 0-0 2, Madison George 5 1-3 11, Lindsay Miles 5 0-0 10, Corey Snyder 4 5-6 13, Shelby Miles 2 1-2 7, Micaela Meyer 1 2-3 4, Ceanna Rossi 0 3-6 3. Totals 18 12-20 50.
3-pointers: Soroco (2) — S. Miles 2.
SOROCO BOYS 35, WEST GRAND 30
West Grand 6-10-4-10 — 30
Soroco (8-4, 4-2) 4-7-8-16 — 35
West Grand — Stetson Sabados 2 3-4 9, Travis Gore 2 0-1 4, Tim Ritschard 5 1-2 11, Luke Miller 2 0-0 4, Fletcher Flanigan 1 0-1 12. Totals 12 4-8 30.
Soroco — Michael Rossi 1 2-2 4, Cody Miles 4 1-2 9, Alex Estes 1 2-4 4, Pie Lombardi 1 0-1 2, Leif Carlson 3 5-6 11, Matt Watwood 2 1-1 5. Totals 12 11-16 35.
Oak Creek Draining the last-second shot to give your team a crucial game probably is the dream of every child who’s ever laced them up. What’s it feel like?
“Awesome,” Soroco’s Madison George said Friday night. “Oh my gosh, awesome.”
The Rams sophomore took an inbounds pass and drove with determination into the lane and through a cloud of four West Grand defenders. When she emerged, she was directly under the basket, where she swiftly laid the ball and set off pandemonium on the Soroco sideline as time expired. The Soroco girls basketball team, 6-5 and 2-2, beat West Grand, 50-48.
“That’s exactly how we planned it — how I planned it, anyway,” said George, who finished the game with 11 points. “In that last timeout, coach said to get the ball to either me or Corey (Snyder). I was open, got it, and I had it in my mind I was going to take it in.”
As dramatic as George’s finale was, the Rams had no shortage of heroes in the game.
Snyder, a junior, led the team with 13 points and led the way in the early minutes of the game, almost all of which fell in favor of Soroco. The Rams took a 7-point lead into halftime and then expanded that to 10 in the third quarter.
West Grand charged back in the fourth and even took a lead, finding points aplenty inside the paint and denying Soroco’s offense a chance to respond.
Soroco sophomore Lindsay Miles, meanwhile, scored 10 points, no 2 points were more important than a steal and short shot she came up with to give her team a 1-point edge with a minute remaining in the game.
Sophomore Shelby Miles scored 7 but missed much of the game with foul trouble. Freshman Micaela Meyer filled in and scored 4 points of her own.
Junior Ceanna Rossi, meanwhile, finished with nine rebounds and hit a free throw to tie the game with 61 seconds remaining.
“We grew up tonight,” Soroco coach David Bruner said. “We’ve played in close games before but not come out on top. We had to grow up to come out on top, and we did.”
As difficult as Friday night’s game was, the Rams face a far more difficult challenge at 2:30 p.m. today in a home game against Paonia. The Eagles enter the game ranked as Class 2A’s No. 1 team. They rode a devastating full-court press to a second-place finish in last year’s state tournament and have lost only once this season.
“We will give it our best shot,” Bruner said. “It helps that these kids got this win. We’re pumped up and ready to go.”
West Grand can’t slow down Soroco boys team
Soroco junior Leif Carlson has played exactly 12 games of organized basketball, but Friday night, he had the nerve of a man who’d faced the hairiest of situations. Carlson hit five of six free throws in the fourth quarter to help lift the Rams to a victory in a bizarre 35-30 home win against West Grand.
“Leif’s points where huge. Every point was huge in that game,” Soroco coach Sam McLeod said. “There weren’t many points to be had.”
Carlson led with 11 points. Cody Miles, who missed about a month of the season with a broken hand, returned to Soroco’s lineup to score 9 as the Rams came from behind in a low-scoring game.
The Rams trailed, 20-11, midway through the third quarter before surging to close within one, 20-19.
The Mustangs tried to cut their losses and with nearly four minutes remaining in the third quarter went into a delay, holding the ball near half court. More than two minutes ran off the clock in an awkwardly silent gym before the Rams came out to defend.
Once West Grand re-engaged in the fourth quarter, Soroco took control. Carlson hit a pair of free throws to pull his team within one, 25-24, then hit another to give his team a 1-point lead with three minutes, five seconds remaining in the game.
Miles grabbed the rebound from the next free throw, Carlson’s only miss of the night, and put it back for a 3-point advantage the team would never surrender.
“I can’t say I’ve ever played in a game like that before,” McLeod said. “You never know what you’re going to get from West Grand. They’re always changing things up.”
Soroco, 8-4 and 4-2, returns to the court for a big game at 4 p.m. today against Paonia.