Pirate girls dominate Centennial, Center

The Cotopaxi High School girls basketball team breezed into the holiday break with lopsided victories over Centennial and Center.

The host Pirates, 5-1 and 1-0, rolled past the Centennial Rams 67-30 on Friday night in the District 6 League opener for both teams.

Cotopaxi coach Troy Thornton said the game was important in terms of giving his younger players varsity experience. Nine players suited up and played, including Trinity Gallup, who was moved up from the junior varsity.

“That’s huge,” he said. “Not even for the future, but this year. They have to get the experience where they can. We don’t have enough to do a lot of junior varsity games and there are not a lot of teams around that have JV. Getting them into varsity games is huge and hopefully makes them a little more comfortable.”

Against the Rams, the Pirates led 26-4 at the end of the first quarter and 40-18 at halftime. Junior Koylynn Gulliford led the team with 21 points. Junior Shealee Coleman chipped in 13, sophomore Annalise Walker tossed in 12, senior Claire Carlson added 8, senior Jamie Sanchez had 6 and senior Sage Laymon contributed 5.

The team finished 29 of 66 from the field and was 6 of 11 at the free throw line. It had 23 steals and committed 15 turnovers.

On the following day at Center, Cotopaxi struggled early before blowing out the Vikings, 61-28.

“We started slow and let them hit some 3s from the corner in the first quarter (the Pirates led 12-10 after the first period.) “In the second quarter we shut them down defensively and attacked on offense. It’s hard playing back-to-back nights going into break, especially when girls are getting sick.”

Gulliford led the way with 20 points and 17 rebounds. Carlson scored 13, Coleman added 11 and Laymon had 8.

Cotopaxi returns to action on Jan. 9 with a home game against Cripple Creek. It then travels to face South Baca in Swink on Jan. 11 South Baca finished fifth in the state in 2019. It is ranked No. 4 in Class 1A.