Steamboat Springs The second verse was the same as first between the Soroco and Hayden high school girls basketball teams, as the Rams ran away with a lopsided victory to advance to the semifinals of the Class 2A District 5 tournament.
Soroco beat Hayden 82-39 and will play at 6 p.m. Friday at De Beque High School against Meeker.
“We’re where we want to be, but we want to keep it going,” Soroco coach David Bruner said.
The Rams are only one win away from qualifying for the district tournament, and they now have two chances to get it. Meeker beat West Grand on Wednesday 61-32 to move into the game against Soroco.
The teams just met last week, the Rams winning a tight game on their home court 57-54.
Duplicating that win would send Soroco to the district championship game, presumably against overall Class 2A No. 1 Paonia. That would ensure Soroco one of the three regional slots allocated to District 5.
The Rams, 18-2, could also get there with a loss Friday, so long as they bounce back to win Saturday's consolation game.
They’re not interested in that route, however. Stopping Meeker will involve stopping the Cowboys’ inside game, one of the few weaknesses Soroco, which relies on its elite quickness to make up for its height deficiency, has shown this season.
Meeker senior forward Reese Pertile scored a career-high 28 points in the last game.
“We’ll go a little different to start the game so she doesn’t catch the ball inside so much,” Bruner said.
The team was running efficiently enough Wednesday against its cross-county foes from Hayden.
Chloe Veilleux scored 23 points. Mattie Rossi had 22, and DaKota Bruner had 13.
The team’s seniors, Bruner and Morgan George, left the game, their final one at home, to a loud ovation from the crowd.
“It was pretty neat,” David Bruner said. “It was a good way for them to finish their career on their home court.”
For its part, Hayden left happier with its first half than its second.
The Tigers, who end the season 7-13, were led in the scorebook by Darian Murphy, who had nine points.
“The kids played well for awhile. We played aggressive, and that was the whole goal,” coach Michelle Wilkie said. “We want to be aggressively on the ball, whether that was on defense or offense. We missed plenty of points right under the basket, just little shots, but when you missed those, the score’s not going to look so great.”
To reach Joel Reichenberger, call 970-871-4253, email jreichenberger@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @JReich9