Lady Pirates win first game of season


    Staff Writer

    One game, one win.

    The Pagosa Springs High School Lady Pirates basketball team started with a bang Saturday evening, in the form of a 45-16 win over the 2A Sanford Indians.

    Now, the Pirates hope to transfer that win into early season momentum as they play their first home game Saturday.

    The Ladies were off to a quick start in the game in Sanford, winning the tipoff and making an 8-0 run in the game’s first minutes, before conceding four points to the Indians. The Pirates responded with 9-0 run to close out the first quarter.

    The majority of first quarter points came from Taylor Strohecker, who tallied 21 points in the game.

    The Indians were held scoreless in the second quarter, with the Pirates adding seven to the scoreboard, taking a 24-4 lead into halftime.

    In the third quarter, the Pagosa outscored Sanford 7-4 to increase their lead to 31-8.

    In the fourth quarter, the Indians doubled their score, but were no match for the Pirates’ 14 points in the quarter.

    The Pirates won by a final tally of 45-16.

    “Defensively, I thought we were pretty darn solid,” said coach Wes Lewis, who highlighted not only the scoreless second quarter for the Indians, but not allowing any double-digit quarters.

    Stats for the game show Strohecker leading the team with 21 points (including two three-pointers) and 10 rebounds, with two blocks, two steals and three assists.

    Anissa Lucero and Payton Shahan followed with six points each (with one three-pointer by Lucero), with Lucero also contributing one steal and two assists. Shahan recorded three rebounds, two steals and three assists.

    Taylor Hammer-Lee and Emily Bryant added four points each to the board, with Hammer-Lee adding one rebound and Bryant contributing three rebounds and four steals.

    Shannel Wilson added three points and an assist to the team totals and Madison Lewis rounded out the scoring with one point, also notching one rebound and one steal.

    Overall, the team shot about 67 percent from the free-throw line — just short of Lewis’ goal of at least 70 percent.

    “It’s our first game and we don’t want to be playing our best basketball right now,” Lewis said, pointing out areas he hopes to work on with the team.

    Lewis said the team, while winning by a solid amount, left points on the floor in terms of layups, free throws and other easy baskets that were missed.

    “We need to make the easy shots and not leave the points on the floor,” Lewis said, adding, “I’m still proud of the girls.”

    Lewis was pleased with the team’s overall shooting in the game, noting that he created a shot chart after watching film of the game which showed that everyone on the team took shots.

    Lewis said the fact that the team did not rely on a select few to score points gives him confidence that everyone on the squad can contribute.

    “I like the way the kids shared the basketball out there,” he said.

    Lewis said the team’s 12 turnovers were acceptable, though he would like the count to stay in the single digits throughout the season.

    Despite giving the team an “A” rating, Lewis said the number-one thing to work on is the team’s bench.

    “I’m not disappointed with where the second group is at, but we’ve got to catch them up a little bit,” Lewis said, explaining that the bench is made up of freshman and sophomores with less experience on varsity courts than the team’s starters.

    The Pirates will continue to test their skills as they play their first home game of the year Saturday in a match-up against the 2A Del Norte Tigers. Following that game, the team will take on the No. 1-ranked 3A team according to a coaches’ poll — Denver Science & Technology — at the Buena Vista tournament.

    Action against Del Norte starts at 5:30 p.m. Saturday in the Pagosa Springs High School gymnasium.