A loss to the Bayfield Wolverines Saturday night was the Pagosa Springs High School Lady Pirates’ first conference loss in over two seasons and only their second loss on the current season, balancing their weekend record at 1-1 and their season record at 8-2.
Friday night, the Pirates boarded the bus for La Jara, returning with a 42-27 win.
Pagosa outscored Centauri in three of four quarters, trailing the Falcons only in the first quarter, by a score of 4-6.
From there, the Pirates outpaced their opponent 14-7, 13-7 and 11-7 in the remaining quarters.
“It was a little bit of a slow start, but, overall, it’s just two good teams playing each other,” Coach Wes Lewis said of the matchup against the Falcons, adding, “Centauri’s well-coached; it’s always a tough place to get a win.”
Senior Brooklyn DuCharme was far and away Pagosa’s leading scorer on the night with 19 points, including five three-pointers and a 2-for-2 stint at the charity stripe. She also recorded three steals and a rebound.
“Brooklyn had a heck of a game against Centauri, she sure did,” Lewis said.
Anissa Lucero followed with 10 points, which included two three-pointers.
Taylor Strohecker notched six points (also, 11 rebounds and two steals), Emily Bryant contributed three (all from free throws), and Haleigh Zenz and Ellie McGinn each tallied two, with McGinn’s also coming from free throws.
McGinn was also second in rebounds on the night with five, while Payton Shahan rebounded four times, as did Zenz.
The following night, however, the Pirates were less successful in their attempts to defeat the Wolverines, who field seven seniors.
“I didn’t feel like we played very well,” Lewis said.
The only lead the Pirates would hold in the game was at the beginning of the first quarter, when a series of down-court passes translated into a basket by Strohecker, who was fouled on the play and landed one free throw, giving Pagosa a 3-0 advantage.
Throughout the game, the Pirates failed to make a number of easy shots that would have allowed their offense to keep up with their defense.
“I thought our defense was decent for three-and-a-half quarters,” Lewis said.
In fact, the Pirates held the Wolverines to single digits in three of four quarters. Unfortunately, the Pirates were also outscored in those three quarters, 7-3, 8-7 and 8-6.
Only three Pirates scored in the first three quarters of the game — Strohecker, DuCharme and Bryant (with one free throw).
Despite the game being within reach through the first three quarters of the game, it was during the fourth quarter that the game was lost.
In that final quarter, Bayfield outscored Pagosa 22-13.
“They played hard,” Lewis said, noting the closeness of much of the game. “The game was closer than the score indicates.”
Lewis also indicated that his team gave up too many offensive rebounds in the game.
Despite the loss, DuCharme notched nearly half of Pagosa’s points, scoring 13 on the night, including a 7-for-8 stint at the free throw line.
Strohecker recorded nine points in the game.
Rounding out the Pagosa scoring was Bryant with two, Shahan with three and Sienna Espinosa with one.
But, Lewis said, the weekend turned out reasonably and not in unexpected fashion.
“With a young team like this, it’s important that we don’t get too high with a big win,” Lewis said, adding that, conversely, it was important that the team not get too low after a loss.
After the weekend’s action, Bayfield and Alamosa are tied for first in the conference with one win each, while Pagosa and Centauri both sit at 1-1 within the Intermountain League. Monte Vista rounds out the pack at 0-2 in conference play.
This weekend, and next week, Pagosa will take on two more league opponents and the reigning 2A state champions before a rematch with Bayfield the following weekend.
“We won’t worry about Bayfield until we get there,” Lewis said, adding that the team will have three days to prepare for the rematch after the Sanford game and noting that this weekend, too, will be challenging.
“We just need to go play our style of game,” Lewis said of the weekend’s action, adding that the team needed to hold opponents to single-digit quarters, fare well against a press defense, make easy shots and play a strong man-on-man defense.
Friday, the team plays host to the Alamosa Mean Moose at 5:30 p.m.
The next day, the Pirates head to Monte Vista for a 5:30 p.m. tipoff.
Tuesday, the Sanford Indians, last year’s 2A state champions, come to Pagosa Springs for a 5:30 p.m. affair.