Pirates’ rally falls short vs. Kim/Branson

The Cotopaxi High School boys basketball team cut a 16-point deficit in the third quarter to one point, but couldn’t overtake host Kim/Branson on Jan. 4 in a 46-41 nonleague defeat at Trinidad State College.

The loss drops the Pirates to 4-2 overall and 1-0 in District 6 play, while Kim/Branson improves to 6-1 and 1-0.

“We got off to a terrible start,” Pirates coach Matt Schwindt said. “We fell behind by 16 early in the third quarter. We took a timeout and the kids came back strong. We cut their lead to one point and had the ball on a couple of possessions to take the lead but couldn’t covert. They hit some free throws at the end to seal the game.”

Cotopaxi trailed 8-6 after the first quarter, but fell behind 19-9 by intermission. The Pirates matched Kim/Branson with 17 points in the third quarter and outscored the Mustangs 15-10 in the fourth period.

Senior Chance Gulliford led Cotopaxi with 21 points. Classmate Frank Ogden chipped in a season-high nine points and juniors Peter Belt and Jonah Bertolino combined for nine more.

Cotopaxi shot 31 percent from the field and 17 percent (3-18) from the three-point line. They made six of 13 free throws.

The Pirate boys and girls return to action on Thursday when they host Cripple Creek. The girls tip off at 5 p.m. followed by the boys at 6:30. Next Saturday, the teams travel to Swink to take on South Baca.