Soroco's Jessica Rossi breaks for the bucket Thursday as the Rams ran up a 50-29 victory against Hayden.

Photo by Joel Reichenberger

Soroco's Jessica Rossi breaks for the bucket Thursday as the Rams ran up a 50-29 victory against Hayden.

Soroco girls basketball takes down Hayden

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Soroco's Hayley Johnson takes a shot Thursday against Hayden.

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Soroco's Josie Rossi puts up a shot Thursday against Hayden.

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Hayden's Savannah Williams breaks through the Soroco defense Thursday.

2012-13 Rams girls basketball schedule

2012-13 Tigers girls basketball schedule

— The cliche is that you can throw away the season’s win-loss records for rivalry games, but on Thursday night, that would have left an observer waiting for a close game that never broke out.

The Soroco High School girls basketball team has been good this season, and Hayden hasn’t. The Rams got up 18-2 in the first quarter en route to a 50-29 victory.

Rivalry magic between the two cross-county programs might not have affected the outcome, but it did kick up a whirlwind of emotions. Even though the game ended the way the records suggested, both teams were left with conflicting feelings.

In one sense, Soroco came away thrilled with a win against the school that’s so often gotten the upper hand.

“This is huge,” Soroco senior Shelby Meyer said, continuing to recall one defeat in particular, a 52-51 bitter pill that came in the playoffs, ending the Rams' season.

“Every time we step on the floor against them, I remember that,” Meyer said. “The only thing on my mind is that we don’t want to lose another one of those.”

On Thursday, the Rams eliminated any possibility of a loss in that first quarter, when, for all practical purposes, the game was decided. Meyer, Hayley Johnson and Briana Peterson each had five points, and Hayden didn’t score until more than 7 minutes, 30 seconds into the 8-minute quarter.

At its best, Soroco feasted on weak passes and a stout defense, anchored in the lane by Josie Rossi, who tallied several big blocked shots.

The team wasn’t always so sharp, though, and as excited as the team was, it couldn’t hide the disappointment in its streaky play.

“We played great at moments,” Rams coach David Bruner said. “Other times, we would have four or five minutes where we couldn’t get anything to fall. We haven’t put a complete game together.”

Hayden, of course, saw the game inversely. Coach Michelle Wilkie labeled that first half one of the season’s worst. The team got more effective throughout the game, and held Soroco to just four in the second quarter.

A 16-point third from the Rams ensured there would be no miraculous finish, but Hayden went from barely scoring two points in the first to scoring 12 in the fourth.

“We started pressuring the ball, and we tried to change the tempo of the game,” Wilkie said. “The girls have to take charge. ... We have a game tomorrow night, and we have to capitalize on the good things we’ve done.”

Johnson and Peterson each scored 12 to lead Soroco. Meyer had 11, and Rossi had eight. Kayla Dunckley had seven for Hayden. Savannah Williams and Kara Cozzens each scored six, and Emma Johnson had five.

Hayden, 1-10, plays at 6:30 p.m. Friday at home against Vail Christian. Soroco, 8-3, plays at 5:30 p.m. Saturday at Vail Christian.

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

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