OAK CREEK — Soroco High School (5-5, 3-1) was hoping to ride the high of a four-game winning streak through an upset victory over De Beque (8-0, 1-0), No. 7 in Class 1A, but that’s not what would happen on Friday, Jan. 11.
The Dragons capitalized on midgame lulls to stomp on the Rams at home, 70-41, but despite the loss, the Rams showed sparks of aggression in the fourth quarter that, if consistently shown, would’ve made a difference in the game.
“They wore us down,” Rams head coach Leif Carlson said. “I thought we did a great job first quarter, but there’s three more quarters after that. Really they just need to stop and transition and once we fell behind we started making some sloppy mistakes.”
The Rams put up a fight in the first quarter, finding points from the perimeter and staying in contention behind the Dragons 21-14.
But the Rams’ offense experienced a lull in the second quarter, scoring only one point to the Dragons’ 27 for a halftime score of 48-22.
The Dragons continued to trample the Rams in the third quarter behind sophomore point guard Brennan Rigsby, who drove through the defense effortlessly, while also making shots from the outside.
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Despite the comfortable lead, the Dragons didn’t let up, scoring 14 points in the third to the Rams’ eight for a 62-30 score, opening the fourth quarter with a 3-point shot by sophomore Wesley Ryan.
Rams freshman Jed Kirby resurrected the offense with aggression, sinking in a 3-pointer that sent cheers through the crowd. He stole the ball on the next play to drive to the basket, making both free throws.
It was too late in the game to see a comeback, but the least the Rams could do was narrow the deficit they had created through a lack of scoring.
Nick Estes shot a 3-pointer that bounced off the rim into the hands of senior Grant Redmond, who was able to tap in the shot for a 68-37 score. Estes leaped for a rebound before driving down to score. He’d attempt a steal on the next play and draw a foul.
The opportunity came back to him, as he was able to snatch the ball and pass it down court to junior Jesse Koler, who ultimately lost control at the basket. But the Rams were breaking through and making opportunities they hadn’t all game. Estes shot the final basket of the game to get the Rams to 41 points, and the Dragons won 70-41.
The Rams head to Hayden High School to take on the Tigers (3-5, 0-1) next week at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 18