Stakes raised for Soroco girls | SteamboatToday.com

Stakes raised for Soroco girls

Austin Colbert

Soroco girls basketball coach David Bruner urges his team on earlier this season in Oak Creek. The Rams will play Highland on Friday at Coal Ridge High School in their regional semifinal game.

— To say Soroco High School girls basketball coach David Bruner expected this much success might be a stretch, but at the same time, it's not surprised him in the least.

"We've had that consistency with what we wanted to do with the program," Bruner said. "These kids have put a lot of time in and worked hard. I'm really proud of them. And they give great effort. They hustle, and they give great effort every single night. They are fun to watch."

The Rams lost almost twice as many games at they won in Bruner's first season in charge. Now, in his eighth year, Soroco has reached 19 wins in back-to-back seasons and will attempt to push beyond this weekend at the Class 2A Region 3 tournament.

On Friday at Coal Ridge High School, No. 4-seed Soroco (19-3) will face No. 5-seed Highland (15-7) at 3 p.m. The winner moves on to face either No. 1-seed Paonia (20-2) or No. 8-seed Lyons (15-7) in Saturday's 2 p.m. regional championship game in Rifle — the victor headed to the state tournament.

"We want to go to state. I think that was on every single girl's goal card," senior Kali Constine said. "It makes you really proud and just to have the same girls every single year, going out and being with them, it really makes you a family. It's a lot of fun."

Constine and Briana Peterson are the two, four-year seniors on this year's team. The Rams have won 68 games during that span, an average of 17 per season. The juniors — Morgan George and DaKota Bruner, the coach's daughter — have been part of 54 wins in their three seasons.

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"A lot of us have played together forever, and we just know how each other works and flows," Peterson said. "The younger girls have also been stepping up and putting points on the board."

While the team has improved from year to year, the end result has been the same the past two seasons.

Last year, Soroco lost to Paonia in the regional championship game and fell to Meeker in the regional finals the year before that.

This season, however, making the regional final is more of an expectation than a goal.

"We want to try and make it to state, and I hope we do," George said. "We are all really dedicated to this, and we all set our goals really high, and we want to try and reach our goals."

To reach Austin Colbert, call 970-871-4204, email acolbert@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @Austin_Colbert

If you go

What: Class 2A Region 3 basketball tournament

Who: Soroco girls (19-3) vs. Highland (15-7)

When: Friday, 3 p.m.

Where: Coal Ridge High School