Pirate girls finish regular season with win

Seemingly unfazed by their loss the previous night to Bayfield, the Pirate girls’ basketball team came out strong on Saturday night against the Farmington, N.M. Scorpions, at home in the PSHS gym.

“I’m pleased with the girls’ effort,” said Coach Wes Lewis, “bouncing back after Friday night’s loss.”

In fact, the girls bounced and scored. With the first points of the game occurring before the clock started (due to a Farmington technical violation), Pagosa fans must have been left wondering if the Pirates had allowed the Scorpions to get on the court. Showing a cohesive, tight offense and a formidable defense, the Pirates totally shut down Farmington’s offense. Preventing a single Scorpion field goal, the only Farmington points came at 4 minutes, 58 seconds into the game with two shots from the free-throw line, while Pagosa scored 19 points of their own.

The Pirates continued their onslaught, preventing any Farmington score for almost two minutes into the period. Showing superb teamwork, with tight passing and multiple assists, Pagosa controlled both sides of the field. It was only with two Hail Mary 3-pointers in the final seconds of the period that Farmington was able to gain any traction, outscoring Pagosa 10-7 in the period but down 26-12 at the end of the half.

Taking a leadoff bucket in the opening seconds of the second half and showing a more aggressive approach, the Scorpions were nonetheless unable to answer the marauding Pirates. Shut down on offensive rebounds, the Scorpions had no chance at preventing the Pirates from walking away with the quarter, and were outscored 13-5 for the quarter, giving Pagosa a 39-17 lead.

With no indication of letting up, the Pirates clinched the game in the final period. Up 28 points with 6 minutes left in the game, a pitch-perfect steal by senior Shelby Stretton was driven down court for a breakaway lay up, pushing Pagosa’s lead to 30 points. With Pirates coming off the bench for the final minutes and, despite an 11th-hour press by Farmington, Pagosa still managed to hold onto their 30-point advantage, outscoring their opponents 18-10 for the period and walking away with a Scorpion-smashing 57-27 victory.

Sophomores Mary Brinton and Breezy Bryant led in scoring with 19 and 16 points, respectively, with Brinton logging 12 rebounds. Junior Megan Bryant scored 7 points followed by 5 points for senior Allison Hart.

Tonight at 6 p.m., finds the Pirates on the road to play Monte Vista, on their home court, at the Intermountain League tournament. Lewis said, “We’re going to put a couple of jump defenses together and put some pressure on their guards,” when asked how the Pirates (2-4 in conference) intended to respond to a senior-heavy Monte Vista squad (5-1 in conference). If the Lady Pirates manage to capitalize on those tactics and take Monte Vista down — Pagosa is 0-2 against Monte Vista this season — the girls will return to Monte Vista on Saturday night at 6 p.m. to face the winner of tonight’s Bayfield (5-1 in conference) and Centauri (0-6 in conference) matchup.

jim@pagosasun.com