Ranked 10th in the state in 3A girls basketball, and facing the sixth-ranked Buena Vista Demons last Friday, the Pirates showed how the rankings are wrong, defeating the Demons 47-44 and returning on Saturday to smash the 4A Alamosa Mean Moose with a 42-25 win.
Friday night’s game was an overtime heart-stopper, with the Pirates narrowly holding the game at the buzzer.
“Mary (Brinton) took a good catch,” said coach Wes Lewis, “and sent it into overtime.
“I was really proud of the girls,” he continued. “They never gave up. We were down four points with 27 seconds left and they never stopped fighting.”
Narrowly edging out the Demons 11-10 in the first quarter, the Pirates continued the onslaught in the second period, outscoring Buena Vista 14-7, leaving the half with a 25-17 lead. Unfortunately, the Demons regained steam in the third quarter, scoring 14 while holding Pagosa to just four points and taking the lead from the Pirates, 31-29. The Pirates clawed their way back, however, outscoring the Demons 11-9 in the final period, tying the score in the final seconds and forcing overtime play.
Holding the Demons to four points while scoring seven of their own, the Pirates managed to overcome Buena Vista with a 47-44 victory.
“We played well in spurts,” Lewis said, adding, “We won three of four quarters and we won it in overtime.”
Mary Brinton led the Pirates, scoring 26 points, and adding 11 rebounds and three blocked shots. Breezy Bryant was next with 17 points, followed by Victoria Espinosa (who led assists with four) and Brooklynn Ducharme, who both had two points.
Returning to the Buena Vista High School gym Saturday afternoon to face the Alamosa Mean Moose, the Pirates brought a focused, deliberate attack.
Despite illness keeping Brinton on the bench for much of the game, the Pirates drew on their resources to deliver a strong performance.
Never in danger, the Pirates led the Mean Moose in scoring every single quarter, starting with a 11-6 lead at the end of the first. With a narrow 8-7 lead in points score in the second quarter, the Pirates left the half ahead, with a 19-13 margin.
“We just kept building, a little bit by a little bit,” Lewis said.
The Pirates continued marauding, leading the Mean Moose in scoring 13-4 in the third quarter and 10-8 in the fourth, taking down the Moose 47-44 to claim the title as tournament champions.
Despite Brinton sitting out for much of the game with illness, she still managed to lead the Pirates with 12 points and seven rebounds. Bryant came a close second with nine points while Espinosa again led with assists, collecting four, and scoring six points. However, unlike in Friday’s game, all players on the varsity squad scored points, leading Lewis to say, “We were a little more balanced on Saturday. We need to be more balanced — I think that’s going to be what need to be successful.”
The Pirates host the Wolf Creek Classic tournament this weekend, meeting the Dolores Bears at 6:30 p.m. Friday in the Pagosa Springs High School gym. At 3:30 p.m. Friday, the Buena Vista girl’s varsity squad will meet the Montezuma-Cortez Panthers in the first game in the tournament. Losers of the Friday matches will play at 2:30 p.m. on Saturday to vie for third place in the tournament while Friday’s winners are set play at 5:30 p.m. for bragging rights as tournament champions.