Conference playoffs begin at 6 p.m. tonight with the Pirate girls facing the Bayfield Wolverines in the Intermountain League tournament at La Jara.
On Tuesday, the Wolverines defeated the Alamosa Mean Moose 56-38 in Bayfield during the conference pigtail round, eliminating Alamosa from a tournament berth or any other post-season aspirations. Bayfield’s win locked up their No. 4 ranking in the IML.
Top-ranked in the IML and unbeaten in the regular season, the Pirates have played the Wolverines twice this year, defeating them 51-32 in Bayfield on Jan. 15, then defeating them again 55-40 Jan. 29 in Pagosa Springs.
At 6-12 in regular season play and 3-5 in conference, the Wolverines got off to a slow start this season, but showed some improvement in the final weeks.
Following the Pagosa/Bayfield game, the second-ranked (in IML) Monte Vista Pirates are hosted by third-ranked Centauri Falcons. In two previous meetings, the Pirates emerged victorious, winning 45-29 in La Jara Jan. 15, then barely scraping out a 46-44 victory Feb. 8 on their home court.
Winners of tonight’s games will meet at 6 p.m. Saturday to fight for the regional crown while the losers from tonight’s matches will meet earlier, at 2:30 p.m., in a battle for third place.
Tomorrow night at 6 p.m., the first-ranked 17-2 Pirate boys (7-1 in the IML) will also face the fourth-ranked Wolverines (11-8 regular season, 4-4 in season conference games) in a match to decide which team will move on to Saturday’s championship match.
On Tuesday, the Wolverines beat the Monte Vista Pirates 67-33 in Bayfield.
On Jan. 15, PSHS defeated the Wolverines 58-45 in Bayfield, then returned home Jan. 29 to beat them again 50-36.
At 7:30 p.m., the second-ranked Alamosa Mean Moose (12-7 and 5-3) take on third-ranked Centauri Falcons (8-10, 4-4 in conference). The Falcons lost both season matches against Alamosa, 50-43 on Jan. 28 and 61-45 last Thursday. However, the Falcons are the only conference team to best the Pirates, taking Pagosa down 34-28 during the Pirates’ final season game Feb. 15 in La Jara.
On Saturday, the 4:15 p.m. consolation round will determine this year’s third place team in the IML, while the top two teams will grapple for conference bragging rights during the 8 p.m. game.
However the Pirates fare this weekend, they will be seeded and bracketed Sunday night for the state playoffs. Brackets and schedules will be posted at www.pagosasun.com.