The Pirate girls’ basketball team co-hosted last weekend’s Wolf Creek Classic and finished the tournament Saturday night in second place in the standings.
In Friday night’s first-round game, the Pirates scored a 37-32 victory over Class 3A Gunnison.
The game began with a scoring drought: Breezy Bryant and Mary Brinton made first quarter baskets for the Pirates, but at the end of the first quarter, the Gunnison Cowboys led by a slim, 9-8 margin.
In the second quarter, the Pirates pulled ahead. Brinton and Courtney Guilliams hit from the field and by halftime, the Pirates had a 19-13 advantage.
As the game progressed, the Pirates made 70 percent of their free throws, but they also turned the ball over 21 times.
In the third quarter, the Pirates got points on a basket by Victoria Espinosa and two successful strikes from the floor by Mary Brinton. At the end of the third quarter, the Pirates led 27-25.
As the final quarter proceeded, Megan Bryant, Allison Hart, Guilliams and Brinton contributed points to the team total. The Cowboys kept pace, but could not catch up.
With the win, the Pirates advanced to the championship game on Saturday, to face a formidable opponent in the Buena Vista Demons. Buena Vista came into the contest No. 2 in the state Class 3A rankings.
In the first quarter, the Pirates had the upper hand, and established a 13-10 lead on baskets by Brinton, Hart, Breezy Bryant, Espinosa and Megan Bryant.
The Demons began to pull away in the second quarter and, by halftime, led 23-17.
In the third quarter, Brinton and Hart hit from the field, but Buena Vista maintained its margin, 31-26.
In the fourth quarter, Hart, Brinton and Breezy Bryant continued to score. Bryant sank two three-pointers but the Demons continued apace and took the game 47-39.
Brinton had eight rebounds in the game and scored 20 points. Others scoring for the Pirates were Hart, 6; Breezy Bryant, 8; Espinosa, 3; and Megan Bryant, 2.
The two defensive standouts for the Pirate girls were Espinosa and Brinton. Brinton won a spot on the Wolf Creek Classic all tournament team.
Pirate Coach Wes Lewis said there were several reasons the Pirates lost to Buena Vista. “We shot only 30 percent of our free throws, and we gave up 13 offensive rebounds. Also, we turned the ball over 21 times. We made only five of 16 free throws, and they (Buena Vista) were shooting well.
“But, the game was a lot closer than the final score indicated,” the coach said. “I am really pleased with how we played as a team in the tournament.”
This Saturday, Pagosa hosts the undefeated Salida Spartans in the final game prior to the holiday break. The game with the 3A opponent is set for 5:30 p.m. at the PSHS gym.
A rematch with the Spartans, in Salida on Jan. 9, opens the 2009 portion of the Pirates’ schedule.