Pirates eye improvement to start 2017

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Improvement is key for the Pagosa Springs High School (PSHS) Pirates heading into 2017, and the team has been working hard over the holiday season to make that happen.

While practices were not mandatory over the holidays, coach Randy Sorenson said the team would be working hard during voluntary practices.

“We will have to have great practices during the break if we are to have a chance against Durango…,” Sorenson wrote in a Dec. 20 email to The SUN.

Over the break, Sorenson said the team has been going back to the basics.

“We will get back to fundamentals and we have a lot of things to work on,” he wrote. “We will be working extra hard on defense and scoring the basketball. We really struggle scoring and we need to have more balanced scoring. If we could pick it up defensively we would be able to get some easy buckets in transition and that would help. We have got to stop putting ourselves in a hole early in games. We need to learn to get leads so that we can dictate how the game is played instead of getting behind early and having to dig ourselves out.”

That will be put to the test next Tuesday, when the Pirates welcome the 4A Durango Demons to town for a Jan. 3 game that will also serve as the Pirates’ home opener.

The Pirates are 3-3 on the season, and the Demons are 6-1 so far.

Tipoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. on Jan. 3 in the PSHS gym.

“The kids have done a lot of good things so far this season and they have been working hard,” Sorenson noted. “They are a good group of kids with good attitudes and they continue to improve.”

Following the matchup with the Demons, the Pirates won’t see game action again until Jan. 13, when they open league play against Monte Vista.