Wolverines prep for Pirates’ pressure

State-ranked IML rivalry returns to BHS

The Wolverines are feeling better, thank you.

With the remnants of the flu bug gone, the Bayfield High School girls basketball team is ready for the heart of the Intermountain League season.

“We are feeling better. It’s kind of funny, we’re feeling better, but now we have some injuries,” Bayfield head coach Ronnie Posey said as the Wolverines prepare to host IML rival Pagosa Springs at 5:30 p.m. today.

The boys varsity teams will play at 7 p.m.

“We only have six JV girls, so we’ll have a lot of girls playing a lot (of minutes),” Posey said of the injury-depleted BHS squads.

Plus, he said, the Bayfield varsity will face the constant, deliberate pressure defense that has boosted the Pirates to a 9-2 record and a No. 7 state ranking in Class 3A by The Denver Post.

“They pressure full court the whole game,” Posey said. It’s not a frenetic press, he said, but more of an opportunistic pressure defense.

“They’re ready when you make any kind of a mistake,” said Posey, who scouted last week’s game when Pagosa Springs lost a 26-24 thriller at No. 3 Centauri in La Jara.

Pagosa Springs, he said, led for much of that game until the Falcons rallied at the end.

“When they spread you out, it’s more difficult that people think,” Posey said.

The pressure also can add to fatigue, which can translate into inefficient offense, the BHS coach said.

“You settle for jump shots instead of attacking the rim,” Posey said.

The Wolverines (7-4, 1-0 IML) also are off to a fast start this season. Their only losses have come against larger schools – Durango and New Mexico schools Artesia, Piedra Vista and Shiprock, and they are coming off a 47-34 IML road win at Monte Vista last weekend.

Posey said the BHS girls always enjoy playing Pagosa Springs.

The Pirates’ only losses this year came against Class 4A Durango and last week to Centauri.

“Pagosa is a really solid program. They are well coached; they play hard,” Posey said.

“We know them. We’ve got friends on that team. We’ve even got family on that team. But when it comes game time, we play.”

With numerous fans from Pagosa Springs, a big crowd is expected at BHS for tonight’s rivalry games.

“I’m looking forward to it. And, I know with our girls, effort is never an issue,” Posey said.

The boys game will pit No. 3-ranked Pagosa Springs (10-1, 1-0 IML) against BHS (1-9, 0-1 IML).

The Pirates are coming off a 63-49 win at Ignacio (ranked No. 7 in Class 2A) on Tuesday night behind 26 points from Kain Lucero.

The Wolverines opened the IML season last weekend with a heartbreaking, last-second 58-55 loss at Monte Vista.

dstrode@ durangoherald.com