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It looked like the Pagosa Springs High School Lady Pirates were sailing to a smooth victory Friday night in Bayfield after a decisive third quarter that gave the team a 14-point lead over the Wolverines.
Then came the fourth quarter and a Bayfield rally that brought the Wolverines to within two points of the Pirates.
But, a last-minute surge by the Pirates helped Pagosa bring home the win.
The 42-34 win means the Pirates have an even, 1-1 record in league play and a 10-2 overall record.
The Pirates outscored the Wolverines in two of the four quarters in the game, including the first, 9-8, and the third, 19-8. Bayfield outscored Pagosa in the second quarter 2-5, and in fourth-quarter rally, 13-12.
Coach Wes Lewis indicated that it was not until the final minutes of the fourth quarter that Bayfield began a comeback.
Up by a 14-point margin with about 4:30 left to go on the clock, the Pirates began to slip, allowing the Wolverines to get within two points.
“We left too many points on the floor,” Lewis said. “We’re not going to win a whole lot more games if we can’t make better decisions down the stretch.”
However, the Pirates were successful from the free-throw line as the game neared its conclusion, giving them the needed advantage to take home the win.
Lewis highlighted the play of Anissa Lucero, who nailed two three-pointers and went five-for-seven on free throws en route to 11 points.
Lucero was one of only four Pirates to score in the affair, with Emily Bryant leading the team with 12 points, followed by Payton Shahan and Lucero with 11 each, and Taylor Strohecker with eight.
Lewis said the team turned the ball over 15 times in the game.
No other stats were available.
Monday’s Denver Post coaches’ poll ranks Centauri as No. 2 in the state in terms of 3A teams, with the Pirates following in fifth. In separate 3A rankings, Centauri sits in third and Pagosa lands at No. 7.
Centauri currently sits atop the Intermountain League with a 3-0 conference record (13-1 overall), followed by Pagosa (10-2 overall), Bayfield (7-5 overall), and Alamosa (5-8 overall) each a 1-1 league mark. Monte Vista trails in the conference with an 0-3 league record (2-9 overall).
Those standings could be in for a shuffle over the weekend, though, with matches happening throughout the conference that will continue to shape the league.
After a break from conference action last weekend, Alamosa takes on Pagosa on the home court of the Mean Moose Friday and plays Bayfield in Bayfield Saturday. In addition to facing Alamosa over the weekend, Bayfield will meet Centauri Friday night in Bayfield, with Centauri looking to extend its current 10-game win streak.
Pagosa’s weekend begins Friday night in Alamosa and continues Saturday night with a home match against the Monte Vista Pirates.
Saturday’s game will be only the third home contest for the Pirates this season and will kick off a home-heavy portion of the schedule, with six of the eight games remaining played in Pagosa (with the exception of Friday night in Alamosa and Feb. 21 in Monte Vista).
But first: Alamosa.
“We’re going to take it one game at a time,” Lewis said.
The key to that game?
“We just need to go and play thirty-two minutes of good basketball,” Lewis said, versus shorter, minutes-long spurts of good basketball throughout the game.
Both the Alamosa and Monte Vista games are scheduled for 5:30 p.m. starts.