Pirate girls return to competition with host of veterans

Seven veterans from last year’s district champion girls basketball team at Pagosa Springs High School are returning to this year’s team.

Practice began Nov. 12.

The contingent of veterans returning to the court includes senior Allison Hart, who last year averaged 14.5 points per game. It also includes sophomore Breezy Bryant, who came through strong late last season as the girls won the district tournament.

The other returnees include Shelby Stretton, Megan Bryant, Victoria Espinosa, Mary Brinton and Courtney Guilliams. Two sophomores new to the Pirate varsity this year are expected to contribute: Sienna Stretton and Meagan Kraetsch.

Last year’s Pirates finished strong and that momentum could carry forward this season. Pagosa ended up in third place in the Intermountain League regular season standings and put on a surge, beating Bayfield and top-seed Centauri at the district tourney at Alamosa. The Pirates earned the right to host a Colorado Class 3A regional tourney, where their season ended with a loss to Eaton.

Coach Wes Lewis, back for his second year coaching the girls, gave all of the returning players a chance to perform last year as starters got into foul trouble or needed to rest.

The Pirate girls will have scrimmages this month on Thanksgiving weekend with Mancos and Sanford.

The regular season begins in December with two tournaments. There is a Dec. 5-6 tourney at Buena Vista that also includes 4A teams Battle Mountain and Alamosa.

Then, on Dec. 12-13, the Pirates will host the Wolf Creek Classic Tournament that this year includes 3A Gunnison, 4A Cortez and 3A Buena Vista.

Also before Christmas, the Pirate girls will host the Salida Spartans, on Dec. 20.

The post Christmas schedule starts on the road Jan. 9, with a game at Salida.