With both Pagosa teams showing promise for post-season prospects, it was the girls making good on that promise, beating a tough Bayfield Wolverines team last Friday 49-42 at home while decimating the 4A Alamosa Mean Moose 70-38 the next night on the road.
Although the Pirates never got behind during the game against Bayfield, the teams were well-matched and all four quarters saw a lot of back and forth as the Wolverines attempted to gain an edge. With the Pirates showing speed on offense and defense and Bayfield strong with a man defense and a harassing full-court press, Pagosa was able to hold the edge, breaking a 7-7 tie at the middle of the quarter to finally leave the first period with a slight 13-11 lead.
Picking up momentum in the second quarter, the Pirates widened their lead with a physical attack and aggressive defense. In a hard-fought battle, Bayfield looked poised to overtake the Pirates when Wolverine point guard Breeta Moe scored off an assist from forward Jacey Sirios to tighten the spread and make it a 23-21 game.
However, Pagosa remained undaunted and, right after scoring two points on a fast-break layup, Breezy Bryant took the ball from a Bayfield player (Bryant led the team with six steals) and scored another basket after driving in for the layup; Bryant ended up with eight points for the quarter as the Pirates outscored Bayfield 14-10, going into the half with a 27-21 lead.
Bayfield fought hard to stay afloat in the second half, matching the Pirates’ formidable defense and scoring in the key while it looked like Pagosa couldn’t buy a bucket (missing five in a row in the middle of the quarter). Still, Bayfield continued to lose ground and was again outscored 11-10 in the third period.
Coming into the final quarter up 38-31, the Pirates played a patient game, chewing up seconds on the clock while defending their own goal against a Bayfield rally. Finally matching Pagosa in scoring, 11-11 in the fourth, it was not enough for the Wolverines after coming into the period with a seven-point deficit.
Breezy Bryant led the team with 23 points, six rebounds and six steals, while Megan Bryant matched Victoria Espinosa for eight points in the game. Mary Brinton also had six rebounds and scored four points.
The next night, the Pirates poured it on as they trounced the Mean Moose in Alamosa. Holding the Moose to single digits during the first three quarters while scoring double digits in every quarter, there was never really a doubt that it was Pagosa’s night.
Hot on offense and defense, the Pirates outscored the Moose 15-7 in the first quarter and 13-8 in the second, leaving the half with a 28-15 lead. In a huge third quarter, the Pirates scored 24 points while holding Alamosa to just seven, going into the final period with a 53-22 lead.
Players coming in off the bench produced, outscoring Alamosa 19-16 in the last quarter and handing Pagosa a stunning 71-38 victory.
Brinton had a big night, leading the team with eight rebounds and 29 points in the game. Breezy Bryant and Brooklynn DuCharme followed up with 11 points each, with Bryant logging three steals and five assists, matching Espinosa in assists and Sienna Stretton in steals.
With last weekend’s wins, the Pirates lead the IML with a perfect 3-0 record (having beaten every team in the conference) and an 11-1 record for the season
The Pirates return home tonight for a 5:30 p.m. match against the Farmington Scorpions (2-13 for the season). Farmington will need to bring a tough game tonight in order to chalk up another win tonight (a younger, less seasoned Pirates team beat Farmington in both matches of the ’08-’09 season).
The Pirates remain home Saturday night for a rematch at 5:30 p.m. against Monte Vista. Struggling recently with several key starters out, 11-4 Monte Vista brings many of those players back to Pagosa for a conference grudge match, seeking revenge for Pagosa’s tight 43-40 victory on Jan. 16 in Monte Vista.
Taking to the road on Tuesday night, the Pirates will challenge the 2A Mancos Bluejays.