Steamboat Springs The Soroco High School boys basketball team played about as well as it could Friday against Lutheran-Parker in a Class 2A basketball regional tournament in Broomfield but still found itself on the losing end.
The top-seeded Lions won, 53-37.
“We played real well, but it still wasn’t good enough,” Soroco coach Sam McLeod said. “They were as tough as I thought they were going to be.”
With a deep and athletic team that didn’t have a starter shorter than 6-foot-4, the Lions forced the Rams to pick which way to defend them.
Soroco and McLeod decided to shut down Lutheran-Parker’s 6-foot-8 post player. The Rams held him to 4 points, but the Lions secured the win by making outside shots.
“You had to pick which one you’re going to take away,” McLeod said. “They don’t have any weak points. They have athletes at every position. I’d rather have them shoot 3-pointers than making dunks. We took away the inside, and they just hit a lot of shots from the outside.”
Soroco had cut the Lutheran-Parker lead to 6 points in the third quarter before the Lions went on a run and put the game away.
Rams guard Alex Estes led the way with 15 points, despite being the focus of the Lions defense for much of the second half.
The loss concludes the season for the Rams. It wasn’t all disappointing, however. The trip to the regional tournament marked the first time the Soroco boys have made it that far in more than 10 years.
“We had a lot of success this year,” McLeod said. “I think we showed we’re going in the direction. It’s not where we want to end up, but hopefully we can continue going in that upward direction.”