Last week's basketball schedule for Paonia High School included home games against North Park and Soroco High Schools. Paonia's girls scored a 45-35 win over North Park on Feb. 7, with the boys following suit in a 62-19 decision over the Wildcats. On Saturday, both Paonia teams were defeated by the Soroco Rams, with Paonia's girls losing 43-25 and the boys 59-54.
In boys play, Paonia eased its way to a 9-8 lead after one period and then put its foot on the gas to outscore North Park 53-11 for a decisive 62-19 win in 2A/1A Western Slope League conference action.
Paonia's defense held the Wildcats (2-6 in 2A/1A WSL and 5-10 overall) to no points in the second quarter of the game to set the tone for the rest of the game.
Senior Justin Holt rattled the rims for 20 points to lead Paonia's offense while senior teammate Kyle Long scored 15 points in a support role.
Saturday's league contest against Soroco (6-1 and 11-4) was a different story for the Eagles at both ends of the court. A quick start for the Eagles was good for an 18-9 lead after the first quarter, but, the Rams were awakened and ready for the second quarter. A 20-5 run by the Rams in the second quarter vaulted Soroco to a narrow 29-23 lead at halftime.
Soroco's defense took the third quarter off to allow the Bulldogs a chance for a 19-9 run which pushed Hotchkiss in front, 42-38, with one period left to play. And, in the alternating style the game's pattern had established, Soroco's offense took charge to forge a 21-12 advantage in the final stanza to claim a 59-54 victory.
Paonia's Long was the game's leading scorer with 14 points and Soroco's McKinley Parker paced the Rams with his 12 points on offense. Kayedence Bruner chipped in 10 points for support in the Rams' win.
The Eagles will wrap up this week's schedule with games on Friday, in Edwards at Vail Christian, 7-1 and 12-2, for games at 3 (girls JV), 4:30 (boys JV), 6 (girls varsity) and 7:30 p.m. (boys varsity, and a Saturday contest at home against Rangely (4-5 and 5-11) with games scheduled for 1 p.m. (both girls and boys JV), 2:30 p.m. (girls varsity) and 4 p.m. (boys varsity).