Soroco’s Michael Rossi goes up for a layup late in Friday night’s win against North Park.  The Wildcats put together a wild fourth-quarter rally, but the Rams were too good earlier in the game and managed to hang on to win, 46-43.

Photo by Joel Reichenberger

Soroco’s Michael Rossi goes up for a layup late in Friday night’s win against North Park. The Wildcats put together a wild fourth-quarter rally, but the Rams were too good earlier in the game and managed to hang on to win, 46-43.

Soroco boys basketball team snaps losing streak

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— The Soroco boys basketball team allowed just two points in the third quarter of its Friday night game against North Park, and that Wildcats’ basket didn’t come until the final 30 seconds of the period. The game was over for a struggling North Park squad.

Or so it seemed.

The Wildcats lashed out at the Rams with an improbable fourth-quarter rally that fell just short.

Soroco, 3-7, survived a scare, winning at home, 46-43, to snap a six-game losing streak.

“I was nervous. It shouldn’t have come down to that,” Sor­oco’s Nic Paxton said. “Still, it’s definitely good to finally win a game.”

North Park’s Brent Lytle scored a game-high 29 points and was unstoppable in the fourth quarter, scoring 18 of his team’s 24 points in the period.

“You know how they say you lose consciousness, you don’t think about it and just make them? It was like that,” Lytle said.

Soroco — calm, balanced and in control for much of the game, especially the third quarter — did plenty to help. Lytle alone made nine free throws in the fourth quarter and despite scoring 13 points in the fourth themselves, the Rams gave away important possessions late in the game.

The game ended as a North Park player, trailing by three, drew contact as he put up a layup. No foul was called and the ball bounced out.

“We came out and moved the ball, we took some things away with our defense, and we did a good job,” Soroco coach Andy Johnson said. “I was pleased with the way we were able to run our offense. Our decision making wasn’t the best down the stretch, but the kids were just trying to make plays.”

The end was exciting, but Soroco was too good for too long Friday night to lose at home.

Paxton led the team with 21 points. He was joined in double figures by Michael Rossi, who scored 10.

They carried the weight for a team that saw limited action from several key plays slowed by illness.

Ahead just 19-17 at halftime, Paxton hit a layup, drew a foul and made the free throw early in the third quarter. Rossi followed that play up with a 3-pointer, then hit another late in the quarter as time expired, getting his team a 33-19 lead.

That proved enough, barely.

The team returns to action at 4 p.m. today at home against West Grand.

“We’re getting there. We’re on the hill and we’re about to go over the top of the hill,” Paxton said. “I can feel it coming.”


Game statistics

Soroco 46, North Park 43

North Park          07-10-02-24 – 43

Soroco  11-08-14-13 – 46

North Park: Dalton Edmonds 1 1-2 4, Kevin Richard 2 3-4 7, Cale Burdick 1 1-5 3, Brent Lytle 9 11-14 29. Totals 13 16-25 43.

Soroco: Michael Rossi 3 2-2 10, Ben Strait 1 0-0 2, AJ Anderson 0 2-4 2, David Strait 0 1-2 1, Nic Paxton 9 2-9 21, Leif Carlson 2 1-2 5, Pie Lombardi 2 1-4 5. Totals 17 9-23 46.

3-pointers: North Park (1) – Edmonds. Soroco (3) – Rossi 2, Paxton.

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