Justin Johnson puts up a shot over the Pinnacle defenders.
After three and a half weeks without a game, the Lady Pirates were anxious to get back on the hardwood floor. They traveled to Price where they took on their first region competitor in the Pinnacle Panthers. The Pirates didn't look rusty at all as they came out of the gate running and gunning.
At the end of the first quarter the green was up 24-11. The Pirates never looked back from there as they won their first region game easily, by a score of 71-38. The game was cut short by a little more than two minutes due to a Panther player injury. All eight varsity players saw action in the victory and the big three all finished with double doubles.
Michaela Hughes led the scoring charge with 24 points on 11-14 shooting and also pulled down 15 boards and had four blocks. Jamie Johnson scored 20 and also got 15 boards. Megan Hatt in her first game back from an ankle sprain, scored 16, had 10 assists and nine rebounds. Feleisha Antillion came up with four points, five rebounds and four assists. Taylor Johnson scored four and Kira Engleman had three points in the victory. Scoring for Pinnacle was Jordan Hamner with 16 points, Naomi Dalton with 13 points, Ashia Andrews with four points, Cali Moon with three points and Celeste Smith and Rylie Birch with one each.
This was a good test for the Pirates as they had to take on the Monticello Buckaroos the following night at home. Coach Parsons knew that two of the tougher competitors in region would be Monticello and Monument Valley. These two teams had tangled the night before and Monticello came out on top with a more than 20 point decisive victory.
This was somewhat unexpected and Coach knew the girls had to be prepared and play well and hard to compete. The Pirates came out strong and with quick ball movement up the floor and precision passing to the post by Hatt and Antillion, Hughes and Johnson put up quick points to jump to a 6-0 lead.
After a quick time out, the Buckaroos came charging back and tied up the game. It was a seesaw battle through the second quarter up until about two minutes left in the half. The Pirates then found their stride and by pushing the ball up the court quickly by the guards and savvy running of the lanes by the post players, the green scored several quick buckets and enjoyed a 12 point lead at half.
In the second half the Pirates slowly built on that lead and won by a tally of 48-31. This was a great victory and gives the Pirates a fast start in region play. Jamie Johnson led all scorers with 15 and also garnered three assists. Michaela Hughes ended in double figures again with 11 points, eight boards and three blocks. Megan Hatt got a double, double, scoring 10, getting 10 rebounds and putting up seven assists.
Every varsity player was in the scoring column on the night. Feleisha Antillion scored five and pulled down four boards. Taylor Johnson, Kira Engleman and Hanna Manalili each had two points, while Sydney Thayn scored one. This is an outstanding start for the Lady Pirates, with a record of 11-3.
The ladies will next face the Monument Valley Cougars in Green River on Jan. 20 and on Jan. 21) they will be at home again against the Navajo Mountain Jaguars.