The Pagosa Springs High School girls’ basketball team put two comfortable wins in the book over the weekend, earning champion status at the Wolf Creek Classic and improving their record to 3-1.
The 24th year of the Classic was also the first Pirate home action of the season.
“I thought it was great,” said Coach Wes Lewis. “I thought we were two different teams between the first weekend and the second weekend.”
The first match pitted the Pirates against a physical Dolores Bears team.
The Pirates jumped to an early 6-0 lead before Dolores found the scoreboard, taking the Bears on a 22-8 run during the first quarter, despite an aggressive zone defense from the opponent.
The Bears were able to quell the Pirate offense in the second quarter, with Pagosa scoring eight in the quarter — four more than the Bears added to the scoreboard.
With a 30-12 lead at the halftime, the Pirates relented in the third quarter without giving up their lead, however, being outscored by the Bears 10-8.
The final quarter of the game rounded out the solid win by Pagosa, as they outscored Dolores 12-7 for a final score of 50-29.
In the game, sophomore Taylor Strohecker led the Pirate offense with 18 points, one assist and 10 total rebounds, split evenly between offensive and defensive.
Senior Brooklyn DuCharme and sophomore Emily Bryant tied for second on the team with 10 points each.
In addition to the 10 points, DuCharme recorded four assists and five rebounds.
Bryant tallied five assists and five rebounds.
Rounding out the Pirate scoring were freshman Payton Shahan with eight points and Anissa Lucero and Sienna Espinosa with two points each.
The Pirates continued to struggle with free throws in the game, however, shooting only 4-for-10 from the line.
The next day, the ladies took on the Montezuma-Cortez Panthers in the Wolf Creek Classic Championship game, walking away with their second solid win on the weekend at the title.
Pagosa took an early 5-0 lead in the affair, going on a 15-7 win in the game’s first eight minutes, again despite an aggressive zone defense by the opponent.
The Pirates continued roughly the same scoring margin in the second quarter thanks to a strong three-quarter court defense, adding 15 to the scoreboard while Cortez added only six to take a 30-13 score into the locker room.
Playing an increasingly aggressive game in the second half, Cortez still fell short of matching the Pirates, with Pagosa outscoring the Panthers 14-6 in the game’s third quarter.
Pagosa polished off the score in the final quarter, scoring nine (possibly lower as the result of a full-court Cortez defense), but tallying six more than the Panthers in the quarter.
The scoreboard read 53-22 as the final buzzer sounded.
In the game, Bryant led the Pirates with 14 points, one assist, five steals and five rebounds.
DuCharme followed suit with 13 points, including two three-pointers, five assists, three steals and nine rebounds.
Strohecker tallied 12 points on the night, also adding seven rebounds.
Shahan notched seven points in the game, while also recording three steals and four rebounds.
Polishing off the Pirate totals were Lucero with five points and four rebounds, and BaiLee Gallegos and Haleigh Zenz with one point each.
Again, the Pirates struggled with free throws, shooting 8-of-16.
“We weren’t very good this weekend, no,” Lewis said of the team’s free throw totals.
Lewis said the Pirates’ totals were helped, though, in part by their comfort on offense and aggressive defense.
In addition to taking home the championship, three Pirates were named to the all-tournament team — Lucero, Strohecker and DuCharme.
Before this weekend’s action, Lewis said the team will continue to work on free throws, as well as all phases of the game — offense, defense, rebounds and more.
Then, the Pirates will hope their hard work pays off as they welcome the Sargent Farmers (2-2) Friday at 5:30 p.m.
The next day, the Pirates are slated to play what looks to be a challenging afternoon game against the Salida Spartans (1-1 in games recorded on MaxPreps), who beat Gunnison by one point (Gunnison handed the Pirates their only loss of the season).
The game is scheduled to tip off at 2:30 p.m.