Soroco boys basketball team tops Vail Mountain, 49-41

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— There was sure to be rust after the holiday break, but eventually the Soroco High School boys basketball team outlasted Vail Mountain on Friday, winning, 49-41, at home.

“It was a pretty sloppy game,” Soroco coach Andy Johnson said. “It looked like both teams hadn’t played in a while.”

The Rams and Gore Rangers were tied at 19 at half before Soroco took a 35-32 lead into the fourth quarter.

In the final frame, Soroco started to find something of a groove, outscoring Vail Moun­tain, 14-9. The Rams got some timely 3-point and free-throw shots late in the game to seal the win.

“Offensively, we struggled and missed a lot of easy shots,” Johnson said. “We were getting the ball inside and missed a lot of mid-range shots. But during a timeout I told them, ‘You deserve to win. It hasn’t been pretty, but it’s not because of your effort.’”

Nic Paxton led the Rams with 17 points. Michael Rossi added 13, and Leif Carlson had 8.

The Rams, now 2-3, will have a week off before opening league play at 7 p.m. Friday at home against Rangely.

Johnson said the focus would be on defensive pressure and ironing out the offensive kinks.

“It was about time to have a game,” he said. “We missed a lot of easy shots, but it was because we were rushing it, and it’s been a while since we’ve been at game speed with another team.”

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