With only four games remaining on the regular-season schedule, including three conference games, the Pagosa Springs High School Lady Pirates own a sound 15-0 record.
Too, the Pirates hold a 5-0 record in Intermountain League play heading into the final games of the regular season, with two of those wins coming over the last week.
The first win came in La Jara against the Centauri Falcons.
The Pirates were dominant in the game, jumping to an 18-4 lead by the end of the first quarter.
By the end of the second quarter, Pagosa had expanded that lead to 20 points, with a 28-8 score.
Centauri doubled its scoring effort in the second half, however, adding 16 points to the board before the final buzzer. But Pagosa was able to out-pace the Falcons, putting up 34 points in the final two quarters (18-10 in the third and 16-6 in the fourth).
“We came out and played really well in all four quarters,” coach Wes Lewis said, highlighting the team’s efforts from the free-throw line, on half-court defense, and breaking Centauri’s press while being effective with their own press. “I just thought we played well all the way around.”
Anissa Lucero broke out with 18 points in the game, including five three-pointers.
“The other kids did a really good job of finding her when she was open,” Lewis said, adding Lucero did a good job in making herself open.
Madison Lewis followed with nine points, while Payton Shahan and Emily Bryant each added seven.
Taylor Strohecker and Morgan Schaaf each notched six points, Shannel Wilson scored five including one three-pointer, and Taylor Lee-Hammer and Megan Farrah each put two points on the board.
“Any one of the eight girls that play could lead in scoring,” Lucero.
Ten of the Pirates’ points came from the charity stripe, with Pagosa successful 71 percent of the time on the night, going 10 for 14.
Centauri was slightly more successful at 88 percent, sinking 14 of 16 free throws.
The Pirates recorded 17 turnovers and 15 steals in the game, compared to the Falcons’ 30 turnovers and 13 steals.
Pagosa tallied 28 rebounds in the game, 10 of which are credited to Strohecker.
Monday, the Pirates finally played the Alamosa Mean Moose, following two postponements of the game.
Despite Alamosa scoring first in the game, Pagosa went on a 10-0 run to distance themselves from the Mean Moose, and went on to finish the first quarter with a 15-4 lead.
The Pirates narrowly outscored their opponents in the second quarter (13-11), giving the team a 28-15 lead at the half.
Pagosa, too, outscored Alamosa in the third quarter (11-7), with four of Alamosa’s points in the quarter coming in the final minute.
Alamosa took that momentum into the final quarter of the game, outscoring the Pirates 8-7, though it would not be enough of a comeback to take home a win.
“We played really good in the first three quarters,” Lewis said, adding the team, “kind of let the fourth quarter get a little ugly.”
Lewis contributed some of the downfall of the fourth quarter to taking questionable shots and being sped up by Alamosa’s press.
In the game, Shahan led the team with 16 points, followed by Strohecker with 11, Bryant with seven, Schaaf with five, Wilson with three and Lee-Hammer and Madison Lewis with two each.
The Pirates were successful 50 percent of the time from the free-throw line, making nine of 18 shots. Alamosa successfully made nine of 16 shots from the line for 56 percent.
The Pirates turned the ball over 20 times while stealing the ball 14 times in the game, compared to Alamosa’s 29 turnovers and 17 steals.
At half time, Lewis said the team had only six turnovers.
“Hopefully it’s something we can learn from and get better, and hopefully it doesn’t happen again,” said Lewis.
Only four games remain on the season for the Lady Pirates, with the final regular-season game occurring on Feb. 20.
First up, the Pirates head to Bayfield Friday evening to face off against the Wolverines, who are 1-4 in IML play and 6-8 on the season.
Saturday, the team will head in the opposite direction for another game with the Mean Moose, who are now 4-2 in conference play and 10-7 on the season.
Tuesday, the Pirates welcome the 2A Sanford Indians to make up the game recently postponed due to weather and travel conditions. Sanford holds a 10-5 season record.
The season’s final game takes place a week from today against Monte Vista, with the two Pirates teams facing off in Pagosa. All the games are scheduled for 5:30 p.m.
“I think we just need to go do what we do and be who we are,” Lewis said. “We have a system in place.”
Lewis said the team wants to finish the season strong, playing its best basketball as they enter the postseason.
Lewis said the team still hopes to improve on free throws, but will continue to focus on defense.
“Everything we do starts with our defense. That’s who we are and what we do. Defense travels,” Lewis said.