The Pagosa Springs High School girls’ basketball team closed out their regular season conference schedule with a home win Friday night over the Monte Vista Pirates, but challenging league battles remain on the horizon for the team.
Playing in front of their hometown crowd, Pagosa notched a comfortable win over the visiting Pirates 55-33, improving their conference record to 5-3 and their overall record to 14-4.
Pagosa outscored Monte Vista in three of four quarters Friday night, topping the visiting Pirates 10-6 in the first and 14-4 in the second to take a 30-14 lead into the half.
Pagosa continued its offense against Monte in the third, outscoring them by a score of 11-5.
It was only in the fourth quarter that Monte Vista outscored the hometown Pirates 17-14, landing the final score at 55-33.
“I guess we played pretty well,” Coach Wes Lewis said.
In the game, Taylor Strohecker led the hometown Pirate scoring with 16, while senior Brooklyn DuCharme followed with 15 in her last regular-season home game.
Emily Bryant followed with six points, Payton Shahan and Anissa Lucero each notched five, Haleigh Zenz tallied four, Elle McGinn scored three, and Chanelle Wilson contributed with a free throw.
Strohecker also led the team with 10 rebounds, while McGinn rebounded six times and Shahan, Bryant and Zenz each rebounded four times.
“I thought Brooklyn was really, really solid offensively and defensively,” Lewis said, adding it was good for DuCharme to end her regular-season home career with a strong performance.
Lewis said Strohecker was also a high point on the night, going 2-for-3 on free throws and recording two blocked shots.
“I just feel like Taylor has really played strong the last four to five games,” Lewis said, noting she’s peaking at the right time in the season.
And while the game provided more ups than downs, the final play of the third quarter resulted in an ongoing concern for Pagosa — an injury to Emily Bryant that has left her day-to-day in terms of whether she will be able to compete.
In the play, Bryant went up for a shot, but rolled her ankle when coming down, forcing her out for the rest of the game.
“That’s obviously a big concern for us,” Lewis said, adding it was not yet clear if Bryant would be back for Saturday’s game against Sanford, but noting it is more important for her to return by the district tournament.
But, before the Pirates take on the Centauri Falcons at the district tournament, they must first face the reigning 2A champs again, the Sanford Indians.
This week, the team has been working on man-to-man defensive skills in anticipation for the game, as well as screening and timing.
Next week, the team will transition to working on a zone defense before facing Centauri Feb. 24, in the first round of the district tournament in Bayfield.
With the other teams in the league having one conference game left to play, Bayfield leads the way at 6-1, Centauri follows in second with a 5-2 conference record, Pagosa sits in third at 5-3, while Monte Vista and Alamosa, respectively, round out the league with 1-6 records (Monte has a better overall record).
The Pirates take on the Sanford Indians Saturday night at 5 p.m. in Sanford.