Soroco senior Madison George flies by a Plateau Valley defender on Friday in a lopsided win. George led all scorers with 22 points.

Photo by Joel Reichenberger

Soroco senior Madison George flies by a Plateau Valley defender on Friday in a lopsided win. George led all scorers with 22 points.

Soroco girls hoops blows past Plateau Valley behind George's 22

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Soroco's Marley Hammer goes up for a layup on Friday against Plateau Valley.

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Soroco's Mackenzie Carnahan pulls down an offensive rebound on Friday against Plateau Valley.

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Soroco's coach David Bruner said he wasn't thrilled with the way his team played on Friday in a win against Plateau Valley, but he still found something to smile about late in the game.

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Soroco's Lindsay Miles pulls up for a shot on Friday.

— It’s like when a moguls skier gets caught in the back seat or the moment a soccer goalie realizes there’s an angle that can’t be covered. It’s the Danger Zone, and for opponents of the Soroco High School girls basketball team, it comes in the split second when a defender goes from running side by side with senior Madison George as she drives through the lane to the moment they realize she’s by them and there’s nothing they can do to prevent another layup.

In the midst of the best stretch of basketball of her career, George led the way as the Rams overcame a generally lackluster performance Friday to rout Plateau Valley, 51-28.

George led all scorers with 22 points.

“She’s making good decisions, taking the ball to basket and she’s finishing,” Soroco coach David Bruner said. “She’s playing great. ... If you want to win close games, you have to have someone who wants that win, who will take the game over, and she’s been able to do that.”

Soroco led by 10 after a quarter and by 12 at half, with George and steady points from an array of teammates doing more than enough to ensure the game was never close.

Plateau Valley then squeaked out just seven points in the entire second half.

This one wasn’t close.

But it wasn’t good either, the Rams declared. Loud instructions from the sidelines and frustrated looks on the court never gelled with the runaway numbers on the scoreboard.

They never faltered on defense, but turnovers and poor shooting stunted Soroco on the offensive end.

“We had lots of turnovers, and we just didn’t play smooth,” George said.

George proved the most reliable source of points.

She long ago made clear she had the skills, starting for the Rams since her freshman year. She’s never quite put those skills to use the way she is right now, however. An added element of aggressiveness — a conscious decision to take over games, according to Bruner — has helped elevate the Rams senior from one of the best players on her team to one of the best players in the league.

She pointed to her coaches, specifically first-year assistant Kelly Carlson, and to a mindset.

“It’s my last year,” she said. “I want to go out playing well. I just want to be good. Not that I’ve ever held myself back, but I want to be my best.”

Friday night, that was enough, and Soroco is hoping a cleaner performance at 2:30 p.m. at home Saturday against West Grand can make for a 2-0 weekend.

By the numbers

Soroco girls 51, Plateau Valley 28

Plateau Valley    9-9-3-4—28

Soroco    19-11-6-15—51

Plateau Valley— Sarah Foss 0 2-4 2, Bessie Jo Hill 2 0-0 4, Alyssa Foss 2 1-2 5, Kara Hill 3 0-1 6, Micah Feller 3 1-2 7, Sarah Currier 0 0-2 0, Ashley Farrington 0 1-4 1. Totals 10 5-15 28.

Soroco— Shelby Meyer 0 1-2 1, Madison George 8 6-6 22, Lindsay Miles 3 3-6 9, Marley Hammer 2 1-2 7, Jacey Schlegel 2 2-2 7, Jessica Rossi 1 202 4, Billie Bratton 0 1-2 1. Totals 16 16-22 51.

To reach Joel Reichenberger, call 970-871-4253 or email jreichenberger@SteamboatToday.com

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