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The City Journals

Cottonwood girls basketball is riding two senior leaders to a potential state berth

Feb 18, 2021 01:59PM ● By Brian Shaw

Head coach Tess Soracco is in her first year as head coach having been the junior varsity coach last year. (Travis Barton/City Journals)

By Brian Shaw | [email protected]

In her first year at Cottonwood as girls basketball head coach, Tess Soracco has led the Colts to a 3-5 record, a good mark in a difficult league like Region 6. 

But Soracco isn’t new to Cottonwood nor to the girls basketball program. Before she was named the Colts girls basketball head coach this past summer, she was the top assistant to the last two head coaches. 

Led by players like Ali Tripp who were ready to improve on a 1-20 record from last year, the Colts worked during the summer in small groups as Soracco—who was the junior varsity head coach last year—blended that JV squad with returning starters and girls who came up from the Cottonwood Bantam’s program, one that is already seeing tremendous progress on the boys side of the basketball program. 

“Our basketball programs are taking a huge step forward,” said Cottonwood athletic director Greg Southwick. 

The Colts girls got out of the gates fast, winning three of their five games in preseason. Tripp has been a big part, averaging 13 points per game, best on the team and better than the 10 points per game she averaged last year. 

Also back for Cottonwood is Meghan Nelson, who is scoring about nine points per outing for the Colts. 

Ashton Budge wasn’t in the varsity lineup last year, but this year she’s the team’s leading three-point shooter and third-best scorer, averaging about eight points per game. 

This scoring balance is keeping Cottonwood in most of its Region 6 games, but so far the Colts haven’t been able to crack the win column in league play. 

Three games into the Region 6 schedule, the Colts have 10 left to play and sit in the No. 25 spot in the Class 5A RPI rankings out of 29 teams. 

A spot like that would be good enough to make it into the state tournament, which would mark the first time the Colts girls have been to the big dance since the 2013-14 season.