Soroco girls upset Meeker | SteamboatToday.com

Soroco girls upset Meeker

Dave Shively

Steamboat Springs — Since Meeker made its move down to the Class 2A Western Slope League five seasons ago, the Soroco Rams girls basketball team had come no closer than two points to defeating the Cowboys. — Since Meeker made its move down to the Class 2A Western Slope League five seasons ago, the Soroco Rams girls basketball team had come no closer than two points to defeating the Cowboys.

— Since Meeker made its move down to the Class 2A Western Slope League five seasons ago, the Soroco Rams girls basketball team had come no closer than two points to defeating the Cowboys.

That all changed Friday night. Soroco upset the league’s No. 3-ranked team as senior Kelsey Samuelson scored 30 points en route to a 55-47 win in Oak Creek.

“She was hitting them outside in the first half and took it inside in the second,” Soroco head coach Danelle Rivera said of Samuelson.

The Rams trailed, 25-22, at the half, but they weren’t too concerned with the deficit. The Soroco shots continued to fall as Glenda Long and Sarajane Rossi helped put points on the board, finishing with 10 and 8 points, respectively. Soroco was able to extend its lead by continual full-court defensive pressure that created turnovers yielding easy buckets. Rivera also credited the post play and rebounding inside from Corey Snyder, Katrina Maes and Rossi.

“This is, hopefully, the last step of a hill we’ve been climbing for four years,” Rivera said, excited to see Soroco close out a win in tight league game. “It shows that, if we play our game, we’re a team to be reckoned with.”

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Soroco hits the road for a 2:30 p.m. game today at West Grand.

The Soroco boys did not fare as well, dropping their Friday night game, 47-33, to Meeker.

“It was a rough night,” Soroco coach Sam McLeod said. Meeker “played uptempo and pressure D, but we just had a lot of missed shots.”

After jumping to 31-11 halftime lead, Meeker’s offense cooled down while Soroco ratcheted down its defense. Unfortunately, the Rams could not find the offensive answers to capitalize.

“We played good enough defense to win, just no offense,” said McLeod, whose team takes on West Grand at 4 p.m. today.

Snowboarders earn world championship berths

Two Steamboat Springs snowboarders didn’t waste any time making noise on the NorAm Cup circuit. In their first years eligible for NorAm competition, Chloe Banning, 15, and Will Peddie, 16, highlighted the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club’s performances at two days of NorAm snowboardcross competitions, Wednesday and Thursday in Copper Mountain.

Banning had what SSWSC snowboard program director Jon Casson called a breakthrough performance in Wednesday’s competition as she registered the fourth-fastest qualifying time and then followed it up with a trip through the elimination rounds to the finals, where she ended the day in fourth place.

“You could see her smile through her full-faced helmet,” Casson said, noting the competitive finals field that included a top U.S. Snowboarding Team rider (Brooke Shaw) and the current NorAm points leader (Kim Krahulec). “She’s definitely throwing her hat in the ring with the big girls.”

Peddie capped Wednesday’s riding by advancing further in the elimination rounds – to the semifinals where he finished 13th – than any of his elder teammates.

Those teammates answered Thursday as Conor Meyer and Mick Dierdorff advanced to the consolation finals and finished sixth and eighth, respectively.

Dierdorff, 16, finished as the top junior rider, locking up his berth to the 2008 FIS Junior World Championships, March 24-30 in Khanty-Mansiysk, Russia.

Dierdorff will join teammate Cleve Johnson on the 2008 U.S. junior worlds snowboardcross team announced Friday and Callan Chythlook-Sifsof will represent the Winter Sports Club on the U.S. junior women’s snowboardcross team. Three Steamboat coaches were tapped to coach the young U.S. team in Russia – Adam Cassanova for the Alpine racers, Spencer Tamblyn as alternate for the halfpipe riders and Cassanova for the snowboardcross racers.

Hayden boys basketball falls to Paonia

The Hayden boys basketball team had a rude awakening after a five-hour trip to take on Class 2A Western Slope League opponent Paonia on Friday night. The Eagles towering posts, David Carney and Brad Todd, went to work outside and in the paint to beat the Tigers, 80-42.

Hayden coach Robin Lighthizer was pleased with the way the Tigers played in the first quarter, with Jordan Williams sinking a pair of 3-pointers and Zach Barnes creating a defensive presence at the post. But Barnes got in early foul trouble, the shooting cooled off and Carney and Todd combined for 36 first-half points to put the Tigers in a 49-20 hole they couldn’t recover from.

Williams led Hayden with 16 points, and Lighthizer noted the scrappy play from sophomore Murphy Smartt, who pulled down some key offensive rebounds and finished with 10 points.

The Hayden girls also fell to the Eagles, 75-44, falling behind 22 points in a tough first quarter from which they could not recover. Hayden opened the second half strong and beat Paonia 14-10 in the third quarter, but had too much of an early deficit to overcome. Paonia’s Jordyn Rienks led all scorers with 23 points and Holli Salazar led Hayden with 10 points.

Hayden returns home today for a pair of games with Plateau Valley. The girls play at 4 p.m. and the boys follow at 5:30 p.m.

– To reach Dave Shively, call 871-4253

or e-mail dshively@steamboatpilot.com