A 2-1 weekend left the Pagosa Springs High School girls’ basketball team in third place in the league, with a 13-4 overall record.
The Pirates will play only two more regular season games, one league, before facing off in the district tournament with hopes of advancing in postseason play.
The team started the weekend in Alamosa, where they recorded a comfortable 35-17 win.
In the game, the Pirates outscored the Mean Moose in all four quarters: 10-9, 11-6, 10-0 and 4-2, respectively.
Coach Wes Lewis said he was proud of the effort in the game and the adjustment made by the team in the second half to effectively shut down the Mean Moose offense.
The next night was not so comfortable for the Pirates, however, despite playing in their home gym.
“Obviously, it was kind of a defensive juggernaut,” Lewis said of the evenly matched game that ended 29-24 in favor of the visiting Centauri Falcons.
Pagosa took a one-point lead into the half, 15-14, after outscoring Centauri in the first quarter 7-6 and tying the Falcons 8-8 in the second quarter.
The game continued to be close, with the Pirates down by only two in the final seconds of the game.
But, the Falcons were able to outscore the Pirates in the second half, 15-9, to take the four-point victory.
Lewis said his team shot poorly from the field and the free throw line, gaining “decent looks,” but failing to convert them, hitting only about 50 percent from the free-throw line and 1-for-15 from the field.
Tuesday night, the team jaunted to Ignacio for a matchup against the 2A Bobcats, coming home with a narrow 42-39 victory.
The game was relatively evenly matched, with each team outscoring the other in two quarters.
The quarter-by-quarter breakdown is as follows: 14-5 in favor of the Pirates in the first, 13-10 in favor of the Bobcats in the second, Pagosa outscoring Ignacio 9-6 in the third and a 15-9final quarter in favor of Ignacio.
“I think Ignacio is fairly athletic,” Lewis said. “They’re not a bad basketball team.”
In the game, Lewis said the Pirates tallied about 20 turnovers — seven to10 too many in his eyes — and said that the team allowed Ignacio to make runs when Pagosa held 10-point leads.
But, Lewis said the bright spots in the game were 15-point performances by freshman Payton Shahan (7-for-8 on free throws) and sophomore Taylor Strohecker.
“It was by far the best game she’s played as a varsity player,” Lewis said of Shahan.
In another power play over the weekend, the Centauri Falcons beat the Bayfield Wolverines on Friday night before defeating Pagosa on Saturday.
The wins against Bayfield and Pagosa moved Centauri into second place in the league standings with just a few games left before the district tournament.
As of Wednesday’s standings, Bayfield holds on to No. 1 with a 5-1 conference record, Centauri moves into second with a 5-2 league tally, Pagosa slips to third with a 4-3 record, Monte Vista sits in fourth at 1-6, and Alamosa is in fifth at 1-5.
As regular season league action draws to a close for the Pirates, Pagosa hosts the Monte Vista Pirates Friday at 5:30 p.m. in a game that Lewis said holds little bearing for district position, but is an important opportunity for the team to fine tune its game and work on execution.
“We need to get this win and go play well and execute some things,” Lewis said, detailing both defensive and shooting efforts that need improvement.
The game should also be a good test before a likely matchup with Centauri at the district tournament later this month, since Monte Vista and Centauri play similar defensive styles.
The regular season closes Feb. 18 as the team heads to Sanford for a second game against the reigning 2A state champions.
Centauri also faces off against Sanford as the regular season draws to a close, then finishes with a home game against Alamosa.
Bayfield has two league matches left, against Alamosa and Monte Vista, and a nonleague game in Ignacio.