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Rough Seas: Pirates 45, Bobcats 23

Ignacio unable to keep pace in away loss
Pagosa Springs' Nathaniel Kinsley (12) lines up a three-point try over Ignacio's Cayson Burcham (20) during the Pirates' home win Friday night. (Joel Priest/Special to the Herald)

ARCHULETA COUNTY – Ignacio sophomore reserve Sonny Flores sank a nearly-straight three-pointer – off an inbounds pass from in front of IHS’ bench in one of the best plays for the Bobcats.

Only chipping PSHS’ lead down to 37-18, however, Flores’ buzzer-beater ended up being one of just four made baskets for the Bobcats after halftime as the hosting Pirates, devastating in the rebounding aspect all game, coasted to a 45-23 victory.

“I thought we left some points out there on the floor; we missed some easy ones, shots we typically make,” PSHS head coach Wes Lewis said. “From the free-throw line – didn’t get there a lot – we were 1-for-5 so that’s obviously not very good.”

“But our defense has been pretty good most of the year,” he continued, “and if we keep that up, you know …. There’s nights where you struggle shooting the ball, but when your defense is with you most nights you have a chance to be successful.”

Ignacio fell to 6-8 overall, 2-4 3A/4A Intermountain after the loss. Pagosa Springs improved to 16-1 overall and 7-0 in the IML after the win.

The Bobcats had their chance early, taking a 7-2 lead after a three by senior guard Phillip Quintana, assisted by senior center Gabe Cox. Threes by Pirate junior Colt Lewis and Dozier, however, swiped Pagosa Springs an 8-7 advantage going into the second quarter.

The Pirates then started the second quarter with inside baskets by senior Blake Laner and junior Seth Zeigler, plus a three by senior Nathaniel Kinsley, and widened the gap to 20-7 – an 18-0 romp after Quintana’s trey – before Cox made two free throws with 3:03 left until halftime.

Laner and Kinsley then answered with two-pointers during the last 90 ticks before the break, and the Pirates would head back to their locker room with a solid 24-12 lead. Bobcat sophomore Trace Crane got the third quarter underway with a three-pointer, but a Lewis trey, assisted by Kinsley, from the corner rebuilt PSHS’ lead to 31-15 – and helped it grow to 37-15, via a Kinsley transition layup assisted by Lewis.

“It starts with rebounding, and we’ve got a point guard who has the ability to see the floor, push it, and throw it 70 feet on a beeline – Colt does a nice job with the transition offense,” said Lewis. “We’ve got some twos and threes – Nate, Chase Harper, Dozier – that do a good job running the floor, and usually … we like to get 10 to 12 points a night in transition. We weren’t able to do that in Ignacio, you know, and tonight I think we were close to it.”

Laner racked up a game-high 16 points and grabbed 11 rebounds. Kinsley recorded 14 points, eight coming during the second quarter, and Lewis made two treys in logging eight points.

Cox finished with five points, equaled by senior Trajan Garcia – who netted all five of 3A IHS’ fourth-quarter points.

Ignacio was to next visit Bayfield on Saturday, Feb. 3