Slipping to third in their conference with a 1-2 record, the Pagosa Springs High School (PSHS) Pirate varsity girls’ basketball team suffered a heartbreaking defeat at the hands of league rival Wolverines in Bayfield last Friday.
“We played really well against a tough team,” said coach Wes Lewis, referring to the 10-3 Wolverines who remain unbeaten in the Intermountain league. “Considering they’ve won a lot of their games by 20 or 30 points, our girls did a great job.”
Indeed, with the Wolverines logging staggeringly lopsided victories earlier in the season — 53 points over Mancos, 47 points over Ignacio — the Pirates’ loss indicates a hard fought and well-played game.
Ahead 12-6 at the end of the first quarter, it appeared the Pirates would press a three-way conference tie with Bayfield and Monte Vista, putting each 2-1 in the league. Outscored 8-11 in the second period, Pagosa still managed to leave the first half with a 20-17 lead.
Unfortunately, hopes for a conference tie slowly dribbled away, as Bayfield stole the Pirates’ lead by the end of a heavily defensive third period, outscoring Pagosa 9-5 in the quarter and taking a 1 point lead, 25-26.
“Late turnovers in the fourth quarter led to uncontested buckets,” said Lewis, explaining the Pirates’ eventual demise and the 25 total turnovers.
Outscored 14-9 in the final period, Pagosa was unable to best Bayfield, taking home a 36-40 loss.
“Again, we shot poorly from the free-throw line,” Lewis said, pointing out a problem that has plagued the Pirates all season, showing a dismal 30 percent against Bayfield.
Sophomores Mary Brinton and Breezy Bryant led Pirates scoring, with 12 and 9 points, respectively. Seniors Allison Hart and Shelby Stretton rounded out Pagosa’s top scorers with 6 and 3 points.
Defensively, Brinton led with 11 rebounds, followed by Hart’s 10 and Stretton’s nine. Junior Victoria Espinosa led in steals, logging five total for the game.
The lady Pirates have their work cut out for them, with a full schedule heading into the next week. The girls take to the road tonight, travelling to Farmington, N.M. for the first of two games this season against the lady Scorpions. The Pirates head back to Monte Vista for a league rematch on Saturday night, hoping to exact revenge for a loss in January, as well as improving their conference standings. Finally, the girls return home to host the Mancos Bluejays next Tuesday, at the PSHS gymnasium. All games start at 5:30 p.m.