Soroco sophomore Jaden Baker cuts around a Plateau Valley defender Friday night as the Rams piled up the points on the Cowboys, winning 73-55.

Photo by Joel Reichenberger

Soroco sophomore Jaden Baker cuts around a Plateau Valley defender Friday night as the Rams piled up the points on the Cowboys, winning 73-55.

Prep roundup: Soroco boys respond after early slump to capture win

Rams stand tall

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Boys game statistics

Soroco 73, Plateau Valley 55

Plateau Valley 20-8-11-15 — 55

Soroco 15-18-16-24 — 73

Plateau Valley — Teddy Grundy 7 6-6 20, Dalton Schuman 0 4-4 4, Brett Hawkins 1 0-0 2, Travis Schweer 2 0-0 5, Chase Langley 4 0-1 8, Spencer Vivian 4 5-6 13. Totals 18 15-17 55.

Soroco (7-4) — Michael Rossi 4 2-2 14, Alex Estes 9 5-8 24, Nic Paxton 2 0-0 4, Jaden Baker 2 0-0 4, Leif Carlson 5 5-8 15, Matt Watwood 4 4-4 12. Totals 26 16-22 73.

3-pointers: Plateau Valley (1) — Schweer. Soroco (5) — Rossi 4, Estes.

Girls game statistics

Soroco 50, Plateau Valley 29

Plateau Valley 2-8-6-13 — 29

Soroco 14-12-10-14 — 50

Plateau Valley — Micah Feller 2 0-2 4, Alyssa Foss 3 1-4 7, Bessie Hill 2 4-4 8, Julia Gross 1 0-0 2, Chelsy Mills 3 2-2 8. Totals 11 7-12 29.

Soroco (5-5) — Caitlyn Berry 0 0-2 0, Madison George 3 1-4 7, Lindsay Miles 3 0-0 7, Corey Snyder 1 0-0 2, Shelby Miles 2 2-2 7, Micaela Meyer 2 0-0 4, Ceanna Rossi 5 0-0 10, Bethany Leu 0 0-2 0. Totals 23 2-6 50.

3-pointers: Soroco (2) — L.Miles, S.Miles.

— There were moments Friday night — as the Soroco boys basketball team played host to Plateau Valley — that it didn’t seem things could go more smoothly for the Rams.

Athletic senior guard Alex Estes was at his best, cutting around opponents and through the lane like Bode Miller though a slalom course. Junior shooting guard Michael Rossi caught fire from the outside and was draining 3-pointers with ease. Posts Matt Watwood and Leif Carlson cleaned up any mistakes.

Those stretches proved more than enough for the Rams to overcome an awful start, and they cruised to a 73-55 Western Slope League win against the Cowboys.

“Once we got our minds focused, we did what we needed to do,” Soroco coach Sam McLeod said.

Plateau Valley shot well and forced Soroco into a spat of turnovers to start the game, going up 10-0. The Rams still trailed, 20-15, after the half. But after that, it was all Soroco.

Watwood scored on an assist from Estes to give the Rams their first lead, and Rossi helped brake the game open early in the second half. He hit a pair of free throws and two 3-point shots early in the third quarter. After Estes followed up with a 3-pointer of his own, Soroco (7-4) had a 57-45 lead.

“We’ve been working it real hard this week. We knew we needed to get something done now or we might not get another chance,” Rossi said. “I felt great tonight. I’ve been off. There were three games there where I didn’t hit a single 3-pointer, but I just let myself get comfortable in this game.”

Estes finished with 24 points. Rossi had 14 on the strength of four 3-pointers, and Carlson poured in 15. Watwood had 12.

The team returns to action at 7 p.m. Friday at home against West Grand.

Soroco girls basketball snaps losing streak Friday

The Soroco girls basketball team snapped a five-game losing streak against Plateau Valley on Friday night and brought its season record to an even 5-5 with a 50-29 victory.

The final score doesn’t make the game sound close, and thanks to a huge Rams first quarter, the game wasn’t.

Soroco went up 14-2 in the first eight minutes and never looked back.

“That was a lot of fun,” junior forward Ceanna Rossi said.

The Rams got contributions on the scoreboard from up and down their roster. Six of the team’s eight varsity players scored and all saw extensive minutes. Sophomore guard Madison George led the way with 14 points. Rossi, meanwhile added 10. Junior Corey Snyder had 8 and sophomores Shelby Miles and Lindsay Miles each scored 7.

“We’ve been shooting a lot better,” Rossi said. “I was able to score with some post moves down low. It helped that all their girls were shorter than me for once.”

As much as the improved shooting helped the team, a strong defensive effort led to the fat lead. Midway through the second quarter, the Rams still had surrendered just four points in the game.

The Cowboys managed to crack double figures just before the half, but another strong quarter from the Rams in the third ensured the only question that remained was on which side of 20 points the final gap would fall.

“It helped getting up big in the first quarter because that just makes the other team have to work harder for the rest of the game,” Soroco coach David Bruner said. “We got out quick, played good defense and that really helped for the whole game. The girls were really able to relax and just play.”

The team next plays at 5:30 p.m. Friday at home against West Grand.

Hayden girls run past North Park in 55-37 win

A good all-around game ensured the Hayden High School girls basketball team never trailed in its Friday night game at North Park. A dominant fourth quarter made the final score lopsided.

Hayden (10-4) won, 55-37, breaking the contest open after the Wildcats closed to within three in the third quarter.

“We just had a huge fourth quarter,” Tigers coach Eric Hamilton said. “We worked the ball inside and got some great shots. Then we got red hot from outside.”

Delanie VeDepo scored 16 points, including 12 from 3-point range, to lead the team. Brette Frentress poured in 11. Erin Koehler had 10 and Rachael Koehler had 8.

Hamilton was quick to cite senior Calla Manzanares, as well.

“We really focused on shutting down their best player, their point guard. Calla did an outstanding job of defense on her all night,” Hamilton said.

The team was playing without its leading scorer, guard Kyra Rolando. She also will miss today’s game, a 4 p.m. home contest against Rangely, but she should return after the weekend.

Tigers boys handle North Park with 61-22 victory

The Hayden boys team had little trouble with North Park on Friday, coasting to a 61-22 victory.

Freshman Mark Doolin led the team with 13 points and Graig Medvesk and Ben Williams each had 8.

Now the team’s focus turns to a tough home showdown today against Rangely.

“You always worry about games like this because the kids might be thinking ahead and looking past them,” Hayden coach Mike Luppes said. “So this was a good win to get.”

Against Ran­gely, the focus will be on stopping guard Patrick Phelan, a quick, sharp-shooting senior who has terrorized league team’s for years.

He averages nearly 30 points a game and is equally comfortable popping the ball from 3-point range as he is the free throw line.

“He can shoot it from 30 feet out with accuracy,” Luppes said. “But he’s also quick, so he can throw a pump fake and get right by you. We have to do our best to limit without putting him at the foul line because he can kill you there, too.

“We do have an edge on them in rebounding, so we’ll have to clear the boards and make sure they only get one shot.”

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