Head coach John McHenry emphasized that his team accomplished several of its goals while playing against Class 3A’s fourth-ranked team while players noted that the game was closer than the 74-11 final score might indicate.
“We visited about our game (against Pagosa Springs) last night and it’s no secret what Pagosa has produced in the last few years,” McHenry said. “We have to make many small goals, and we accomplished some of those goals tonight. We set a goal of 10 turnovers per half, and we had 19 for the game.”
Among M-CHS’ most impressive players during the contest was sophomore Taelyn Comisky, who put her team on the scoreboard with two free throws and a layup midway through the first quarter.
Comisky’s baskets came after a dismal first quarter during which Pagosa Springs forced several turnovers and scored numerous fast break layups while completely controlling the pace of the game.
Trailing 41-6 at halftime, the Lady Panthers continued to struggle on the offensive end as jump shots and layups consistently clanged off the backboard or rim. M-CHS players continued to compete however, while limiting Pagosa to 11 points in the fourth quarter.
“Our team has been together for several years, and we have chemistry together,” Comisky explained. “I think that we could have had a chance of beating them, but we have to get in better position and talk more.”
Comisky’s four points represented a team-high for the Lady Panthers. Sophomore Malia Begay, sophomore Mackenzie Begay, and sophomore Presley Frost each scored two points for the Panthers.
Several M-CHS players made significant contributions on the defensive end, including Payton Keith, Dimery Plewe, Peyton Keith, and Paige Yarbrough, and after the contest, McHenry complimented his team’s defense.
“I thought that our half-court defense was pretty good,” McHenry explained. “We knew that when we shot the ball, we weren’t going to get any offensive rebounds because of what (Pagosa) could do, so I told the girls to retreat. We sacrificed offensive rebound and got back and when we did, we were able to limit their scoring a little bit.”
Prior to its game against Pagosa Springs, M-CHS traveled to face Monte Vista on Jan. 19 and lost 41-28. Senior Ayana Silas and junior Kailey Case led the Lady Panthers in scoring with six points each and Frost and Plewe each chipped in four.
Now 2-10 on the season, the Lady Panthers will spend one day on the practice court before returning to their home floor to face Durango High School at 5:30 p.m. on Jan. 23.