Despite a 22-point effort by senior Brooklyn DuCharme, the Pagosa Springs High School Lady Pirate basketball team was unable to defeat the Bayfield Wolverines in a pivotal conference match Saturday.
The loss leaves the Pirates in second place in the conference with a 3-2 record (11-3 overall), while the Wolverines improved to a solid lead at 5-0 in the league standings (11-2 overall).
Bayfield gave themselves breathing room early in Saturday’s game, posting a 21-point first quarter — a 15-point advantage over Pagosa in the period.
Much of the breathing room, however, came from a 14-0 run by the Wolverines in the second half of the quarter.
Though the score was much closer through the three remaining quarters, with Pagosa besting the Wolverines in the second half (9-12, 16-13, 15-10 through the three quarters), the Pirates were unable to overcome the early hurdle, dropping the game by a final score of 56-46.
“I feel like we fought back in the second half,” Coach Wes Lewis said, but added that he thought the team relied too much on outside shots in an effort to put themselves back in the game. “We’ve got to get back to being more balanced.”
DuCharme’s 22-point afternoon led the Pirates offensively, complete with an 8-for-11 day on free throws and two three-pointers. DuCharme added two rebounds, two assists and two steals to her stat line for the game.
Also helping the effort, Emily Bryant tallied 10 points on the day, three rebounds and seven steals.
Following Bryant, freshman Payton Shahan had a nine-point day, notched two rebounds and stole the ball three times.
Rounding out Pagosa’s offense, Ellie McGinn and Anissa Lucero each added two, with Taylor Strohecker adding a free throw (and a team-leading four rebounds).
The loss leaves Bayfield in the driver’s seat when it comes to the league, but the Wolverines are not out of Lewis’ sights.
“I would relish the opportunity to play them one more time,” Lewis said.
That chance may come at the district tournament in February if the Pirates are able to hold on to their second place standing through the remaining five regular season games — three of which are conference matches.
“We’ve always said it’s more important to win the district tournament than the league,” Lewis said.
This weekend, the team heads to Alamosa (whom they beat 27-16 on Jan. 20 and who is fourth place in league standings at 1-3) before hosting a battle with the Centauri Falcons (whom they bested 42-27 on Jan. 13 and who is 2-2 and third in the league). Tuesday, the team jaunts to Ignacio for a match against the 2A Bobcats.
“It’s a big weekend for us,” Lewis said. “We need to try to be successful.”