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Pirate girls blast Spartans, Bobcats

Coming off a 45-36 victory against the Salida Spartans on Dec. 19 in Pagosa Springs, the Pirate girls’ basketball team showed they’d built some muscle during the Christmas break workouts when, travelling to Salida last Saturday for a rematch, they completely dominated the Spartans with commanding 65-29 victory.

With that victory, the Pirates — ranked 10th in State 3A — moved onto Ignacio to skin the Bobcats 62-30 on Tuesday.

With Tuesday’s win, the Pirates improve to a 7-1 record.

Outscoring their opponents in all four quarters, the Pirates dominated on offense and defense, more than doubling opponents’ scores in both games.

On Saturday, the Pirates held the Spartans to just a single basket in the first quarter while scoring 16 of their own points. The Pirates again pressed a tough offense and defense in the second period, outscoring the Spartans 19-5 in the quarter and leaving the half with a 35-7 lead.

The Pirates managed a slim scoring lead in the third quarter, 12-11, but again put the heat on in the final period, outscoring Salida 18-11 and finishing with an impressive 65-29 victory over the Spartans.

Mary Brinton led the team with 26 points, 13 rebounds and four blocks. Breezy Bryant was a close second with 21 points, eight rebounds and four steals, while Victoria Espinosa finished with 11 points. However, it was a strong team effort, especially on defense, with the Pirates snagging 18 defensive rebounds and scoring 16 steals. Spartan standout Sammi Gentile was shutdown by the Pirates’ defense — a player who has averaged over 22 points a game was held to just 11 points last Saturday.

In Ignacio, the Pirates’ defense held the Bobcats to single digits in each quarter while the offense racked up double digits every period.

The Pirates came out strong, outscoring the Bobcats 12-7 in the first period and 19-5 in the second, leaving the half with an intimidating 31-12 lead.

The Pirates were relentless in the second half as well, outscoring Ignacio 21-11 in the third quarter (with 13 points scored by Brinton) and finishing up by besting the Bobcats 10-7 in the final period to take the game with a 62-30 victory.

Brinton led the team with 28 points and 10 rebounds, followed by Breezy Bryant with 15 points. Meagan Bryant had 11 points and led with six steals, while Espinosa scored six points and led with eight assists.

The Pirates have two very tough games coming up this week. Playing at Monte Vista (ranked third in State 3A) Saturday at 5:30 p.m. for their first conference game of the season, the Pirates meet a team that is 10-1 for the season and fields two strong players in Mandy Aguilar and Liz Schaefer. Following Saturday’s conference game, the Pirates host Cortez for a rematch against the 7-3 Panthers (the Panthers beat Bayfield 75-66 on Tuesday night). Having lost their only game on Dec. 12 against Cortez, the Pirates will be looking for revenge — and, most likely, to exert the muscle they obviously built up over the break.

jim@pagosasun.com