Soroco girls basketball wins, advances to regional championship game

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— There are plenty of numbers that suggest the Soroco High School girls basketball team doesn’t have a chance Saturday in the regional championship against Meeker, the most notable of those numbers being the three lopsided scores from the previous times the teams have met this season.

But a heap of numbers suggested the Rams didn’t have a chance Friday against Sangre de Cristo, and all that added up to was a 61-58 upset win for upstart Soroco.

Yeah, they’re underdogs again Saturday, but the Rams are thrilled to take another crack at one of the best teams in the state.

“This time of the season, you never know what’s going to happen,” Soroco coach David Bruner said. “We’ll get another opportunity, and anything can happen. That’s why you play the game. If it was written in, we’d just be going home and they’d be going on.”

If it was written in, Soroco may not still be alive in the postseason.

Consider this: The squad shot 8-21 from the free-throw line in the fourth quarter alone and 18-38 in the game.

Those are the kinds of numbers that usually mean an early exit for a team, but the Rams overcame those stats to shock the Thunderbirds. Soroco led by three at half and seven after the third quarter. It pushed the lead as high as nine before a late charge from Sangre de Cristo — aided in part by those missed free throws — made the game interesting late.

“The girls knew we were the underdogs, but they thought they could win and they did just enough to win,” Bruner said. “I’m pretty proud of them for that.”

“Just enough” Friday meant lockdown defense from Hayley Johnson, Madison George and Leah Walorski. It meant a team-leading 14 points from Jacey Schlegel; 13, including several late key baskets, from DaKota Bruner; and 10 from Jessica Rossi.

It meant that, no matter what was supposed to happen, Soroco’s still in it, and now it’s one win away from a trip to the state tournament.

“We have no pressure on us,” David Bruner said. “We’re pretty excited to be able to play another day.”

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