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South Salt Lake Journal

With most of their starters back, Cottonwood girls hoops ready to roll

Jan 05, 2024 01:16PM ● By Brian Shaw

Carley Caton returns for the Colts basketball team this season after their region title triumph a year ago. (File photo Julie Slama/City Journals)

Talk to Cottonwood head girls basketball coach Teresa Soracco, and you can’t help but want to run through a brick wall for the lady. 

“The team is looking good!” stated coach Soracco hardly containing her excitement. “We are looking forward to building off the success we had last season.” 

Soracco literally became an urban legend last year, leading Cottonwood to heights it hadn’t reached in a very long time in girls high school basketball. 

“We think this season could be even better,” said Cottonwood Athletic Director Greg Southwick. “She’s got back almost everybody.”

That group includes the team’s two spirit animals: guards Alivia Hutton and Ciel Budge. Hutton, in the No. 13 jersey, was usually the first person you’d meet in the frontcourt. 

Budge was in the No. 1 jersey and the one who would take an opponent’s elbow to the face while they drove to the basket, occasionally would draw some blood—and then do some chicken dance on the sideline afterward. 

Both seniors were unforgettable not just for the spirit they infused into the team—but for the ferocious defense and playmaking offense they provided. 

Each scored 13 points in Cottonwood’s season opener at American Fork, a game the Colts actually led through a quarter and a half before they fell, 66-40 on Nov. 17. 

For Cottonwood [3-3] and Soracco, these early season contests will provide her and her staff with some objectives that they hope to reach by the start of Region 10 play in the new, reimagined Class 4A.  

“We have a great group of girls who come and work incredibly hard,” Soracco said of her team that includes four seniors and four juniors. “This season we are focused on playing together as a unit on the offensive and defensive end.” 

To that end, 6A American Fork was just the beginning; it continued with a victory at Summit Academy 67-44 on Nov. 21. November will concluded with a tight home loss versus Cedar Valley 53-49 and a nearly 20-point win over Skyline.

In December, the Colts hosted Olympus on Dec. 5 and trotted out to a 55-35 win before falling to 6A Mountain Ridge 56-48. Cottonwood still had a matchup with Hunter Dec. 18 (after press time) before its region opener on Dec. 20 against Jordan. 

For the 2023-24 season, the Cottonwood Colts girls basketball varsity is: Ciel Budge, Carley Caton, Kathryn Julian, Lulu Vernon, Hannah Gamboa, Alivia Hutton, Kya Budge, Bella Morris, Avea Van Der Beek, Kat Malohi and Ashlyn Tripp. λ