Pirates look to improve defense before first game


    In preparation for their season opener against Sanford tomorrow night, the Pagosa Springs varsity boys’ basketball team travelled to Farmington, N. M., to play a series of practice scrimmages against Farmington, Mancos and Cortez.

    “The scrimmages in Farmington went well,” Pirate coach Randy Sorensen said. “Even though we were missing two varsity starters, we felt that the kids did a lot of good things.”

    Dean Hampton and Zachariah Griego were unable to attend due to family obligations over the Thanksgiving holiday.

    “It was good for us as we were able to play all of the kids and experiment with some different rotations,” Sorensen explained. “We were able to get some younger kids and some less experienced kids into the scrimmages, get a look at them and give them some experience at the varsity level.”

    Even though Colorado High School Athletic Association rules don’t allow for keeping score during scrimmages, it is a valuable experience because the coaches are able to see some of the strengths and weaknesses of their team.

    “Basically we were able to see what we needed to see,” Sorensen said. “We were able to run the floor and get some easy baskets in transition, which is how we like to play. We handled the different presses that teams showed us and we felt like we rebounded the basketball pretty well, which we are going to have to do this year to be successful.”

    However, a good offense is only half the battle and the Pirates continued to struggle on defense.

    “Just as we thought, our defense was not very good, so we have been, and will continue to be, working at great lengths on our defense,” Sorensen admitted. “We must improve defensively.”

    The Sanford game tomorrow night will be the first real test for the Pirates, and it looks to be a tough one.

    “They are a well coached, very athletic, very disciplined team that works really hard,” Sorensen warned. “They are patient offensively and will make you work defensively. They are very tough to beat on their home court.”

    The game starts at 7 p.m. tomorrow night in Sanford, then the Pirates will be looking for a large crowd of supporters as they return to their home court Dec. 8 for a match-up against Del Norte. That game will be followed by the Buena Vista Varsity Invitational on Dec. 14 and 15.

    “Our kids have been working really hard and their attitudes have been awesome,” Sorensen concluded, “so we are hoping that we can get the season started off on the right foot.”