Historically close: Pagosa hosts Sanford with a tough challenge on the line

Returning to their home floor after the holiday break, the No. 22 Pagosa Springs High School Pirate boys’ basketball team will face a familiar foe who always presents a tough challenge.
That opponent, the No. 8 2A Sanford Indians (3-3 overall), will take on Pagosa on Saturday, with varsity action starting at 6:30 p.m.
The Pirates are currently coming off of a 55-46 loss at the hands of the No. 9 Colorado Springs Christian Lions on Dec. 22 as part of the Wolf Creek Classic.
Based on the overall record (no league games have been played yet), Pagosa is currently in fourth place in the Intermountain League standings.
The Indians are also riding a losing streak of their own coming into this matchup, a three-game losing streak to be exact.
Those losses came at the hands of the Centauri Falcons on Dec. 8 by a score of 41-35, the Escalante Lobos by a score of 49-43 on Dec. 14 and again to the Falcons on Dec. 21 by a score of 60-29.
Currently, Sanford, who also has not delved into league play, sits in a tie for first place in the 2A Southern Peaks league standings with Crested Butte.
Adding to history
Since the 2010-11 season, Pagosa has matched up with Sanford 11 times, and the Pirates hold a narrow 6-5 advantage in those contests.
Last season, Pagosa defeated Sanford 47-41.
However, Sanford has outscored Pagosa in those 11 matchups 521-519.
The road ahead
Coach Randy Sorenson explained in an interview with The SUN that he has already been telling the Pirates to be ready for Sanford, as they play hard and are always fundamentally sound and good.
“They’re just really well coached, and they’re used to winning,” he said.
So far in practices, Sorenson has shifted the team’s focus to handling pressure.
Pagosa’s struggles against pressure earlier in the season can be attributed to different things, but the bottom line is that the Pirates have to get better at handling it, Sorenson explained.
“We work on it all the time. I think we just allow teams to speed us up in our brain,” Sorenson said. “I think they get us sped up in our mind and we just throw the ball away and get trapped.”
Overall, practices have been good and certain things have been accomplished that were necessary, Sorenson added later.
Coming off the loss against Colorado Springs Christian, Sorenson noted that he has not seen the team hang its collective head moving forward.
“We’re a pretty confident team and they don’t play scared,” Sorenson said, noting that he was proud of them for that.

This story was posted on January 4, 2019.