Steamboat Springs Before the season began, Soroco High School girls basketball coach David Bruner knew his group was fairly young, but he was confident his core group of proven varsity starters could carry the team.
But when two of those proven starters, Jessica Rossi and Jacey Schlegel, got in foul trouble after halftime and another starter injured her knee midgame, Bruner turned to his bench, full of freshmen and sophomores in the Rams' 2013-14 opener.
His underclassmen answered.
Soroco pulled out a 56-54 overtime win against Nucla on the road thanks in large part to a game-high 21 points from freshman DaKota Bruner, who also scored four of the Rams’ nine overtime points. Schlegel fouled out with 7:16 left in the fourth quarter, but Rossi pitched in 16 points and Briana Peterson had 14 of her own.
“I was pleased with the effort,” Bruner said. “It really showed their character. Some kids were very inexperienced going into the fourth quarter and overtime.”
Toward the end of the game and into the overtime period, Bruner’s lineup featured a freshman, three sophomores and a junior on the floor. Despite playing with four fouls down the stretch, Rossi — his lone junior on the court late in the game — led the charge while DaKota Bruner’s offensive presence proved to be the difference.
“I was pleased with the way Jessica played under foul trouble,” Bruner said. “She played smart.”
Two of the coach’s projected contributors are out with an injury and out of town on an honors band trip. The Rams, fresh off their overtime win, have to again square off Friday night with roster packed with freshmen, sophomores and juniors. Next up is Meeker, one of the top 2A squads in the state.
“It will be good for us tomorrow to play good competition like that,” Bruner said.
To reach Ben Ingersoll, call 970-871-4204, email bingersoll@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @BenMIngersoll
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