A whole lot of Lucero for Bayfield

By Dale Strode Herald staff writer

BAYFIELD

Too much Kain Lucero.

Too many turnovers.

Not enough baskets.

And too much Kain Lucero for Bayfield High School.

Lucero and the senior-dominated Pagosa Springs Pirates reinforced their No. 3-state ranking Friday night with a 65-38 high school basketball victory over the BHS boys.

Led by their senior point guard, who finished with 20 points and 10 assists, the Pirates dominated the Intermountain League game with an explosive 16-2 start.

“I like to get my teammates involved early,” Lucero said. “It helps me out when ... they score early because I like to score at the end.”

He also likes to score at the free throw line, where he was 7 of 7 on the night.

“We know we’ve got to come in focused for each game,” Lucero said of the stunning 16-2 first-quarter surge when he had assists to four different players.

Lucero also hit the first of his three 3-pointers in the early run.

The others came in transition after a rebound or a turnover.

“Those 3s are my favorites ... put it in transition and let it fly,” said Lucero, who credited his teammates as the Pirates extended their record to 11-1, 2-0 in the Intermountain League. Their only loss came against Class 4A Durango.

“Kain’s a three-year starter. He played on varsity as a freshman. He runs the team for us,” Pagosa Springs head coach Randy Sorenson said.

“It’s huge to have the ball in his hands.”

He said the Pirates wanted to get a fast start against a Bayfield team that was hungry for its second win of the season.

“It’s easier for us to play with the lead,” Sorenson said.

“Once we get a lead, we feel like we have control of the game,” said Sorenson, who sent out five seniors to start the game.

Senior Dean Hampton scored 12 points for Pagosa Springs.

Zachariah Griego scored nine. Quinn Smith added seven points and 10 rebounds for the Pirates.

“That’s a tough team,” Bayfield head coach Bill Hesford said outside the quiet BHS locker room after the game.

“I think we came out on our heels and let them jump on us in the first quarter,” Hesford said. “You can’t play behind ... against a team with that kind of firepower.”

After the disastrous first period when they managed only a putback basket by Tyler Kerr, the Wolverines scored 11 points in the second quarter.

Their best offensive output came with a 17-point showing in the fourth quarter, paced by freshman Zane Phelps.

“Zane Phelps has come a long way,” Hesford said of the BHS rookie who led the Wolverines with 10 points.

“He made some jump shots down the stretch,” Hesford said. “He’s going to be a big, strong, physical player.”

Phelps also hit a 3-pointer for the BHS boys, as did Geoff Pope, who finished with seven points.

Trevor Gabbard scored five points off the bench for BHS (1-10, 0-2 IML).

Preston Hardy, who has been sick most of the week, also scored five.

“Our offense was herky-jerky at best,” Hesford said. “Our shot selection was not very good ... we’re going to have to come up with a better offensive game plan next time.”

Hesford praised the contributions of John Arnold off the bench.

“We had good minutes out of him,” Hesford said.

BHS will play at Mancos at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, then the Wolverines will be home next weekend for two more IML games; they will host Centauri on Feb. 1 and Alamosa on Feb. 2.

dstrode@durangoherald.com

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