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Lady Pirates bow out in Sweet 16 action

The Pagosa Springs High School girls’ basketball team fell just short of a trip to Fort Collins with a loss last weekend, thus ending their season with a 16-7 record.

Friday, the team took on the 20-seeded Valley High School, coming out with a narrow, 44-40 victory.

The Pirates led 18-6 after the first quarter, but relinquished some of that lead in the second quarter, when they were outscored 12-3 and took a three-point lead into halftime.

Pagosa’s girls continued to struggle offensively in the third quarter, ending up with a five-point deficit at the end of the eight minutes.

With a battle on their hands in the final eight minutes, Coach Wes Lewis pointed to a series of three key plays that helped the Pirates back in the game and, ultimately, to victory ­— fouls on successful shots by Brooklyn DuCharme, Taylor Strohecker and Payton Shahan that led to successful appearances at the free-throw line.

In the end, the Pirates emerged with a 44-40 victory over the Valley Vikings.

“I think Valley’s very similar to us as far as being a young team,” Lewis said, later adding, “It was a good game, obviously.”

Also on Friday, No. 4 Trinidad High School defeated No. 29 Manual High School.

Saturday, then, the Pirates took on undefeated Trinidad Miners (24-0) with a trip to Fort Collins at stake.

Trinidad was able to outscore the Pirates in three of four quarters Saturday, but the game ended with the Pirates down by only five.

“It was two really good defensive teams,” Lewis said, adding, “I thought our young kids played really, really good.”

Lewis described the game as slow-paced and physical, with very few foul calls.

Trinidad outscored Pagosa 7-3 in the first quarter Saturday and 7-6 in the second quarter, leaving the Pirates with a 14-9 deficit at the half.

Pagosa continued to battle in the third half, again being outscored by Trinidad by only one point (6-5), but scoring eight to Trinidad’s seven in the final eight minutes to leave the Pirates on the wrong end of the 27-22 final score.

“I thought our kids played a fantastic game defensively,” Lewis said, adding that the team also handed Trinidad’s full-court press “flawlessly,” without being intimidated.

“The girls took it to them,” he said.

But as the Pirates’ season ends, Trinidad now moves on to the Great 8 as the No. 4 seed.

The Centauri Falcons also fell short in playoff action last weekend, dropping a Friday night game to St. Mary’s.

And while the Pirates and Falcons fell short, the Intermountain League will be represented in the Great 8, however, in the form of Bayfield.

Last weekend, Bayfield defeated Gunnison and Peak to Peak to earn their trip.

Today, the Wolverines take on Eaton High School at 7 p.m.

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