Soroco boys basketball loses lead, falls in overtime

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— It’s easy to see what happens when the Soroco High School boys basketball team makes shots.

The team can blow games open, score 26 points in the second quarter like it did Saturday against Vail Mountain and even look like an upper-echelon team.

But then it can frustrate, blow a 14-point halftime lead and somehow find a way to lose, 69-63, in overtime.

“That’s what happens when you stop making shots,” Soroco coach Sam McLeod said. “That’s what happens when you stop playing hard.”

The loss means Soroco will play Hayden for a third time this season. The two teams will play at 7 p.m. Tuesday in Hayden.

But Soroco had to think about what might have been. After Vail Mountain had taken a 12-10 first quarter lead, Soroco erupted in the second quarter.

Behind 13 second-quarter points from Nic Paxton, the Rams ran out to a 36-22 halftime lead.

Seemingly with the game in control, the Rams came out about as lackadaisical as it gets.

The Gore Rangers opened the third quarter on a 12-1 run to cut the lead to 37-34. At times, the third quarter simply looked like a layup line for Vail Mountain with the team consistently beating Soroco down the court.

Still, the two teams kept trading basket after basket.

The Gore Rangers were up, 58-56, in the waning moments of the fourth quarter when Ryan Jeep’s layup with 4.5 seconds remaining sent the game into overtime.

But Soroco never led in the extra period, and Vail Mountain made 7 of 8 free throws to clinch the win.

“We didn’t play with any energy,” McLeod said. “They played harder and wanted it more. They got the loose balls, ran transition and we stood around and watched them. They wanted it more. It’s that simple.”

To reach Luke Graham, call 970-871-4229 or email lgraham@SteamboatToday.com

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