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The Pirates definitely gave the crowd packing the Pagosa Springs High School gym their money’s worth last Friday night as they forced the Bayfield Wolverines into four overtime periods before succumbing to their fourth straight loss.
“It was a really good game against Bayfield,” coach Randy Sorenson said. “The kids fell behind a few times but were able to respond and to find ways to get back into the game.”
By the end of the first quarter, the Pirates had managed to take a slight lead, 15-14, but the give and take continued in the second period and, by the end of the half the Pirates had given 16 but only taken 13, leaving the score 30-28.
“We were down by 10 points in the second quarter,” the coach confirmed, “but the kids cut the lead to 2 at halftime.”
The Pirates continued to lose ground after the half, allowing the Wolverines to score 17 more points while only putting up 13 of their own, but things started to turn around in the fourth quarter.
“We were down late in the fourth quarter,” Sorenson admitted, “but again the kids found a way to tie up the game at the end of regulation.”
By the end of the fourth quarter, the score was 61-61. The two teams remained locked in battle through the first, second and third overtime periods, but at the end of each neither team had given up more than they had taken.
“We had chances to win in all three of the first overtimes,” the coach said, “but we were unable to convert.”
In the end, the Pirates blinked first and the Wolverines were able to outscore them by ten points before the final buzzer.
“You play as many overtimes as it takes until you have a winner,” Sorenson explained. “This is the first four-overtime game that I can remember or have ever participated in.”
When the dust settled, the Wolverines had scored 25 points in overtime while the Pirates had only scored 15, for a final score of 86-76.
“In the fourth overtime,” Sorenson continued, “we got down early and had to foul to try and get back in the game, but again, they converted free throws and we could not do it.”
The Pirates made 21 out of 30 free throws total, for a commendable 70-percent completion rate, but the Wolverines had 30 out of 41, or 73 percent.
“Give the kids a tremendous amount of credit for never quitting,” the coach remarked. “We had a lot of kids contribute and our scoring was well balanced.”
A total of nine different Pirates added to the team’s total, including five who scored in the double digits.
Luke DeVooght led the Pirates with 19 points, while Trey Spears chalked up 14, Briar Erskine 13, Ben Bard 12 and Keaton Smyth 11. Bryce Jacquez, James Berndt and Tate Drane each scored two points, while James Pongsalee managed one.
Spears sank three from outside the three-point circle while Smyth sank one, and four Pirates shot better than 50 percent from the free-throw line — Spears went four for four, Smyth six out of seven, DeVooght five out of six and Bard four out of six.
On the other end of the court, the Pirate defense stood toe-to-toe with the Wolverines, taking down a total of 28 rebounds (they had 30), eight steals (they only managed six) and five blocked shots (they also had five), while only giving up 14 turnovers, compared to 16 for them.
Erskine led with 10 rebounds, two blocks and one steal, while Bard had five rebounds and two steals.
“If we can continue to do these things we will be successful,” Sorenson predicted. “We still have a lot to work on but the kids are working hard and they continue to have great attitudes.”
The Pirates host the Alamosa Mean Moose tomorrow night at 7 p.m. and then hit the road to play the Monte Vista Pirates at 4 p.m. on Saturday. The Mean Moose are ranked 12th in the state 3A division with a record of seven wins and six losses while the Monte Pirates are ranked 10th with an 8-4 record.
“We have another tough weekend coming up,” the coach concluded, “and we will have to play good basketball if we are to get wins.”
Pagosa is currently ranked 42nd in state 3A with a win/loss record of 4-8.