After three weeks of practice and hard work in the weight room, the Pagosa Springs High School girls’ basketball team takes to the road Friday and Saturday to compete in a tournament at Buena Vista.
The Pirates’ initial game on Friday is with Alamosa at 4 p.m. Other games for the Pirates will take place Saturday afternoon.
Performances by veteran players last Saturday morning in scrimmages against Sanford and Mancos at the Pirate gym gave Coach Wes Lewis reason to be hopeful.
“We are probably ahead of where we were last year at this time,” the coach said. “Our free throw shooting in the scrimmage was strong. Our press was good at times and less than good at others.” There were some steals by the Pirates when the press was working well during the scrimmages.
“Our best rebounders so far are Mary Brinton, Courtney Gulliams and Megan Bryant,” said the coach. Brinton, 6-1, is the tallest player on this year’s varsity.
“The strongest three-point shooting so far is coming from Allison Hart, Breezy Bryant and Shelby Stretton,” said Lewis.
After the Buena Vista tourney, the Pirate girls return home to host the Wolf Creek Tournament at Pagosa Springs High School gym. Their first game on Dec. 12 is against Gunnison at 6:30 p.m.
“They are a pretty good team with mostly seniors,” the coach said of the Cowboys.
The Classic championship game will be played on Saturday, Dec. 13, at 5:30 p.m.
Last year, the Pirate girls won the Intermountain League tourney. None of the opponents in the two December tourneys are conference foes.
The Pirate boys also play in the Buena Vista tournament Dec. 5 and 6, starting with a contest against Class 4A Alamosa on Friday.
Pirate Coach Jim Shaffer said a number of his players have been slow in making the transition from football to basketball. Many of his players took part in the state football playoffs which overlapped the beginning of the basketball practice season.
The Pirate boys have several veterans back from last year’s starting team: Taylor Shaffer, Dakota Ross, Sackett Ross and John Jewell. Taylor Shaffer led the team in scoring last year with an average of 14 points per game. Jewell is the tallest player on the boys team, at 6-6.
The boys team scrimmaged at Durango High School to tune up for the start of the regular schedule.
The Pirates host the Wolf Creek Classic Dec. 12 and 13.