Lady Pirates 2-1 at Buena Vista tournament


Staff Writer

The Pagosa Springs High School Lady Pirates walked away with two more wins over the weekend, also suffering one loss.

The Pirates, now 4-1, made their way to Buena Vista for their first tournament of the season last weekend, first taking on Denver Science and Tech Stapleton Friday, followed by Saturday games against Buena Vista and Jefferson Academy.

The No. 6-ranked Pirates fell to the No. 2-ranked Knights Friday evening by a score of 56-38.

“I would, obviously, have liked to play a little better against Denver Science,” coach Wes Lewis said.

The Knights outscored the Pirates in every quarter: 10-14, 9-17, 10-12 and 9-13.

Lewis said his team missed some easy opportunities against the high-ranked opponent in the first half that would have made the game closer, but chalked the game up to a learning experience.

In the game, Taylor Strohecker led the Pirates with 16 points, followed by Anissa Lucero with 12 (including one three-pointer), Emily Bryant and Payton Shahan with four each, and Morgan Schaaf with two.

Shahan led the team in rebounds with nine, also notching two steals and two assists.

Strohecker walked away with eight rebounds and one block, and Bryant finished the night with four rebounds, five assists and one steal.

Haleigh Zenz and Schaaf each tallied three rebounds, with Zenz adding one steal and Shaaf adding one steal and one assist.

Taylor Lee Hammer added two rebounds and Shannel Wilson added one to the team’s total of 30.

The team turned over the ball 22 times in the game, compared to Denver Science’s 13 turnovers.

The next morning, the Pirates were back to work, this time against tournament host Buena Vista.

The ladies were victorious in the low-scoring affair, winning by a tally of 34-27.

“It was just a low-scoring game in general,” Lewis said.

Despite the low score, the Pirates outscored the Demons in the game’s final three quarters: 7-2, 12-9, 5-4.

“They know our stuff pretty well,” Lewis said of the Demons, who play members of Pagosa’s team in summer league play. “It’s a pretty well-coached team.”

Shahan led the Pirates with 14 points in the game, followed by Strohecker’s 10. Lucero scored six, including two three-pointers, with Bryant and Madison Lewis each adding two.

Lucero led the team with five assists, followed by Bryant with four and Zenz with two.

Strohecker led with eight of the team’s 28 rebounds, followed by Schaaf and Zenz with five each, Bryant and Shahan with four each, and Lucero and Lewis with one each.

Three Pirates notched two steals each in the game — Strohecker, Lucero and Zenz — with Strohecker providing both of the team’s blocks in the game. Shahan and Bryant each contributed one steal.

The team again struggled with turnovers in the game, finishing with 23.

Only a few hours later, the team was at it again, this time against Jefferson Academy.

“What a thriller,” Lewis said of the game, which stretched into double overtime.

With the game being the team’s third in two days and Strohecker in foul trouble, much of the game was played by the team’s nonstarters, stepping up to the challenge.

The Pirates outscored the Saints 9-8 in the first quarter, but were outscored 14-8 in the second quarter, leaving them with a five-point deficit at the half.

The Lady Pirates bounced back in the third quarter, nearly doubling their score and outscoring Jefferson 16-6, but were outscored 12-7 in the final quarter.

The back-and-forth game was no different in the fourth quarter.

Up by seven late in the game, the Pirates looked to walk away with a win, but late turnovers threatened to change that.

Down by two with five seconds left in regulation play, Bryant stepped up to the free-throw line, making both shots to take the game into overtime.

Down again by two in overtime, with less than 10 seconds left on the clock, the team ran a set for Shahan, with Shahan netting the key shot, taking the game into double overtime.

The Pirates were able to outscore the Saints 8-5 in the final overtime to take a 54-51 win.

Shahan again led the scoring effort for Pagosa, with 19 points, including one three-pointer.

Bryant followed with 13 points, and Lucero added 12, including two three-pointers.

Strohecker scored eight in the game, and Zenz added two.

Bryant led the team in the assists and steals categories with five assists and three steals, followed by two assists and one steal from Lucero and one assist each from Shahan (two steals), Schaaf (one steal) and Wilson (one steal). Zenz added two steals, and Strohecker held the team’s only block of the night.

The team had 20 turnovers.

Next up for the Pirates is a home match tomorrow night against the 2A Ignacio Bobcats.

A match originally scheduled for today in Durango has been cancelled due to Durango’s having too many games scheduled. Lewis was unhappy with that cancelation, with Durango being the only 4A team on the Pirates’ schedule.

But, Ignacio looks to be a challenge for the Pirates, with the Bobcats losing no graduating seniors from last season.

“They’re not ranked or anything,” Lewis said, “They’re kind of an unknown commodity down here. They’re a good team.”

Lewis gave three keys to success for the Pirates, not only against Ignacio, but for the season as a whole: solid half-court defense, fewer turnovers, and rebounds.

“The offense will take care of itself,” Lewis said.