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The Pagosa Springs Pirates started the new year off right with a 48-38 victory over the Del Norte Tigers last Friday afternoon, moving their record to 3-4 and their ranking up to 39th for the state 3A division.
“We did some good things against Del Norte,” coach Randy Sorenson affirmed.
The Pirates pulled ahead 10-7 by the end of the first quarter and maintained a slight 19-18 lead going into halftime, but then dominated in the third quarter, gaining 17 more points while only giving up 11. The Pirates continued to widen the gap in the last quarter, 12-9, to reach the final score of 48-38.
“We did a better job of taking care of the basketball,” Sorenson said, “and limiting our turnovers in the game. That made a big difference.”
Luke Devooght was the lead scorer with 19 points, including one three-pointer and four out of six from the free-throw line.
Ben Bard was next with nine points, Briar Erskine had eight and Trey Spears had six, including one three-pointer. Keaton Smyth, James Pongsalee and Tate Drane each scored two points.
The team only had 10 turnovers during the entire game, compared to an average of 19.4 for the previous five games.
For the other side of the coin, the coach explained, “We rebounded the basketball better and our defense was improved.”
Devooght also led the defense with 16 rebounds and two steals, while Erskine had nine rebounds, two blocked shots and one steal. Bard had three rebounds and one steal. Smyth and Pongsalee each had two rebounds and Bryce Jacquez had one.
“We are going to continue to work on fundamentals,” Sorenson promised, “and to work on the little things this week. We still have a long ways to go before we start league play next week. We need to have a great week of practice and to continue to get better every day.”
The Pirates first league game will be against Centauri on Jan. 18, but before that they still need to face Del Norte again on Jan. 11 and Sargent on Jan. 16.
“We play Del Norte again on Saturday and it will not be an easy task to go their gym and beat them,” the coach predicted. “We are sure they will be out for revenge, so we better be ready to play on Saturday.”