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Lady Pirates show promise, debut at Sanford

Staff Writer

The Pagosa Springs High School Lady Pirates are set to take to the court this weekend in Sanford to kick off the 2013-2014 season, and the upcoming season is looking promising.

The team enters the season ranked second in the Colorado High School Athletics Association’s (CHSAA) preseason coaches’ poll, behind Holy Family, and in front of Denver Science and Tech, Lamar and Centauri, rounding out the top five.

Last season, the Pirates lost to only two teams — Denver Science and Tech, and conference foe Centauri.

Coach Wes Lewis is pleased with the team’s showing in two preseason scrimmages, against Montezuma-Cortez last Saturday, and against Durango on Monday.

“I was really pleased with what I saw,” Lewis said.

But the bright future is no big surprise for the Lady Pirates.

The team is very similar to last year’s squad, which placed fifth in state playoffs, having lost only one player from that team to graduation (Haleigh Zenz).

This season, Lewis said the team has eight strong varsity players, with the varsity team supplemented by several varsity-junior varsity swing players.

“This is the deepest team I’ve had,” Lewis said.

Leading the team this year will be seniors Emily Bryant, Anissa Lucero and Taylor Strohecker.

Joining that trip will be a trio of juniors: Payton Shahan, Shannel Wilson and Morgan Schaaf.

Rounding out the team’s varsity-only players are sophomores Madisen Lewis and Taylor Lee-Hammer.

“Those eight kids are going to play really comparable minutes,” Lewis said. “I don’t remember being in a situation in my seven years where we had eight kids with their abilities so equal.”

In the post position, expect to see Shahan and Strohecker starting, with Schaaf in the mix, as well as JV swing player Brennan Nichols, and even Madisen Lewis.

Lewis said Bryant and Lucero are likely to be starters at guard, with Wilson, Madisen Lewis and Lee-Hammer in the running for the third starter role.

Lewis also said the starters may change throughout the season, stating, “who starts doesn’t really matter.”

And, on top of the team’s depth, Lewis said the team looks good defensively, in the press and in transition play to start the season.

The Lady Pirates will make their season debut this Saturday, Dec. 7, at 6 p.m. in Sanford, against the 2A Indians.

randi@pagosasun.com

This story was posted on December 5, 2013.