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Lady Pirates 2-0, head to Buena Vista

Staff Writer

SUN photo/Randi Pierce
Senior Haleigh Zenz looks to add two to her team’s total as teammate Taylor Strohecker is on tap for any rebounds during Saturday evening’s home opener against the Del Norte Tigers. The Lady Pirates won by a 55-37 margin, improving their record to 2-0.

 

Two games, two wins.

The Pagosa Springs High School Lady Pirates walked away with a home-court win Saturday night over the 2A Del Norte Tigers, 55-37.

The Pirates outscored the Tigers in every quarter for the game — 15-9, 17-11, 8-6 and 15-11, despite 25 turnovers by the team. Del Norte recorded 19 turnovers.

“We were way too careless with the basketball,” Coach Wes Lewis said. “That’s too many turnovers, for sure.”

While the team won the tip-off and gave themselves an early least, the first points of the game were not scored until over a minute in.

“I wanted to go out and dominate,” Lewis said, adding, “It was hard to get any kind of rhythm.”

But, despite the lack of rhythm in the game, the Lady Pirates held a comfortable lead much of the game, chalking up their second win of the season in as many games.

Taylor Strohecker led the team with 28 points, including two three-pointers, as well as with her nine rebounds and four blocks. She notched one assist in the game.

Strohecker’s 49 points on the season ranks her 18th in state 3A play.

Supplementing the team’s performance was Morgan Schaaf, who had 10 points, eight rebounds and one assist off the bench.

“I was impressed with Morgan Schaaf,” Lewis said. “I thought Morgan did a really, really nice job.”

Rounding out the scoring were Payton Shahan with six points, Emily Bryant and Anissa Lucero with four points each, and Haleigh Zenz with one point.

The coach was also pleased that several team members were stepping in and taking shots, but added, “I would love to see some more kids step up and score.”

Shahan and Zenz each notched four of the team’s 33 total rebounds, with Bryant and Lucero recording three each, and Madison Lewis and Shannel Wilson adding one a piece.

Additionally, Bryant contributed five steals and five assists, with Lucero adding one steal and four assists. Zenz notched four assists, followed by Shahan with three, Wilson with two, and Taylor Lee Hammer adding one assist.

The team also never saw the free throw line until the fourth quarter, with Zenz going one-for-two from the line.

“It was frustrating to not have the free throw attempts not be a little more balanced,” Lewis said. Del Norte went 9-for-15 from the line. “But we’ve just got to adjust.”

Lewis was unhappy with one other aspect of the game, the team’s press, but he isn’t blaming the players.

“I’m going to take responsibility for the press, for poor preparation on my side of things,” Lewis said, noting he should have scrapped the press in the game when it was evident it was failing.

Though the press is unlikely to be used, the team’s skills will again be tested this weekend, when they face off against their first 3A competition of the season at the Buena Vista Tournament, where the Lady Pirates are scheduled to play three games.

Friday, the team takes on the Denver Science and Tech Stapleton Knights, who own a 1-1 record. The game begins at 7 p.m. Both teams are ranked in the top 10 in this week’s 3A coaches’ poll.

“It will be a fairly exciting game,” Lewis said.

The next morning, the Pirates face off against the 1-1 Buena Vista Demons at 10 a.m., before rounding out play at the tournament with a 4 p.m. matchup against the 2-0 Jefferson Academy Jaguars.

“I like our chances,” Lewis said, adding, “we’re just going to continue to work on the things we work on.”

randi@pagosasun.com

This story was posted on December 13, 2012.