It’s not the home court advantage — PSHS Pirate girls varsity basketball are just 4-3 at home. Nor is it some magic against 4A teams — the girls fare no better or worse (3-2 against the next level) than they do in their own division.
Whatever their mojo might be, the lady Pirates kept it with them for a dazzling victory at home against the 4A Salida Spartans.
“We had too many turnovers in the first half,” said coach Wes Lewis. “We played a lot better in the second half.”
Outscored 8-14 in the first quarter, the Pirates mustered a little fight in the second period for the home crowd, besting the Spartans 12-9 in the quarter and narrowing Salida’s lead to three points, 23-20 at the end of the first half.
“Defensively, we played a lot better in the second half. We held Sammi Gentile (Salida center) to only four points in the second half after she scored eleven in the the first half,” Lewis said.
Dismissing their first quarter performance, the Pirates would not be outscored during the remainder of the game.
Gaining the edge in a third quarter defensive battle, Pagosa closed the gap by outscoring the Pirates 7-6 in the period. Then, with their mojo running at full bore, the girls exploded with an aggressive offensive game. Outscoring Salida 19-13 in the final period, the Pirates beat the Spartans for the second time this year, rewarding local fans with an impressive 46-42 victory.
Game offensive standout was sophomore Breezy Bryant, with all five of her buckets made from beyond the 3-point line, Bryant took 15 points from the field and 2 points from the free-throw line, for a total of 17 points, as well as three assists. However, it was senior Allison Hart who was the overall game standout, scoring 16 points, while also leading defensively with seven rebounds and two steals. Senior Shelby Stretton had 6 points for the game, followed by sophomore Mary Brinton with 5 points, two assists, six rebounds, four blocked shots, and three steals.
“It was Allison’s best offensive game of the season,” Lewis said. “We’re hoping to keep her at those numbers for the rest of the season.”
Unfortunately, magic continued to elude the girls at the free-throw line, with a dismal 39 percent scored in the key. The girls also had an uncomfortable 17 turnovers for the game, most taken in the first half.
The girls take to the road tonight, travelling to Farmington, N.M. for the first of two games this season against the lady Scorpions. Although the Scorpions have only played one other Colorado team, losing 53-64 against a strong Cortez team Tuesday (and to whom Pagosa lost by 15 points Jan. 20, 35-50) — neither the coach nor the team knows much about Farmington’s style or strategy and, in the parlance of Irish bookies, all bets are off.
On Saturday, the Pirates head back to Monte Vista for a league rematch, hoping to improve their conference record. The Pirates then host the Mancos Bluejays in the PSHS gymnasium next Tuesday — all games start at 5:30 p.m.