Lady Pirates earn win over Sangre de Cristo


    Staff Writer

    In a late-scheduled game with the 2A Sangre de Cristo Thunderbirds of Mosca, Colo., on Jan. 4, the Pagosa Springs Lady Pirates’ basketball team improved to 6-1 to start the 2013 portion of its season.

    Now, the team will look to keep the momentum going, with conference play looming.

    With two days’ notice and two days of post-holiday practice behind the Pirates, the Thunderbirds looked to be a challenge, outscoring Pagosa 10-6 in the first quarter.

    From there, the Pirates fought back and proceeded to outscore the home team in the remaining three quarters: 7-4, 18-6, 19-13, for a final score of 50-33.

    Despite outscoring Sangre de Cristo in three of four quarters, coach Wes Lewis indicated the majority of the team’s challenges came throughout the first half.

    Twelve of the team’s 15 turnovers came in the first half, Lewis said, with only three in the second half.

    “I thought our kids played really well in the second half,” Lewis said, adding that the team was, “rusty” in the first half.

    The team’s 15 turnovers in the game was an improvement in an area of play plaguing them this season, going from an average of nearly 20 per game to 15 against the Thunderbirds.

    Taylor Strohecker led the Pirate effort with 19 points, nine rebounds, one block, one steal and one assist.

    Emily Bryant contributed 13 points in the game, along with six rebounds, five steals and seven assists.

    Morgan Schaaf follows with eight points, five rebounds, three steals and one assist.

    Following close behind with seven points is Anissa Lucero, who also notched three assists and one steal.

    Payton Shahan aided the team with one point, four rebounds, one steal and one assist, and Madison Lewis contributed two points and one rebound.

    The victory over the Thunderbirds improved the Pirates’ win streak to four games and boosted their season record to 6-1.

    The Pirates were successful during the 2012 part of their schedule, dropping only one game to the highly-ranked Denver Science and Tech Stapleton Knights during a tournament.

    En route to their 5-1 campaign ending 2012, the Pirates defeated Sanford (45-16), Del Norte (55-37), Buena Vista (34-27), Jefferson Academy (54-51) and Ignacio (45-42).

    Much of the season has taken place on the road for the ladies, with only the Del Norte and Ignacio matches played on the team’s home court.

    That trend will continue in the coming weeks, with the next six games scheduled for the road prior to a Feb. 2 home matchup against the Monte Vista Pirates.

    This weekend, the team heads to Monte Vista Friday night for a match against Sargent Farmers and to Del Norte Saturday to play the Tigers, both 2A opponents.

    “Right now, it’s a whole lot more about us than it is about them,” Lewis said, speaking of league play on the horizon.

    Following this weekend’s games, the team starts into conference play, beginning in La Jara on Jan. 19, with a game against the Centauri Falcons.

    “We need to sharpen up before league play,” Lewis said, adding that the team needs to put together complete games on both offense and defense, and to put “as close to thirty-two minutes of good, solid basketball together as we can and see where it takes us.”