MONTE VISTA — It was a rough return to the court for the Monte Vista boys basketball team. The visiting Wildcats took advantage of a few scoring dry spells from the home squad to take a 57-38 win on the road.
Monte Vista is feeling its way through the season. The Pirates (3-3) opened 2019/20 with three straight wins leading them to the championship game in the La Junta Shootout on December 14th.
Since then the Pirates took second place to Centauri and fell in overtime to Buena Vista on the road, setting up Monte Vista’s game with Pueblo Central Tuesday night.
Pueblo Central hails from the South Central League in the 4A class. The Wildcats have been having their own struggles this year entering Tuesday’s non-league game with a 5-6 record.
Despite giving up a class to the visitors Monte Vista was in the thick of competition in the early going.
The Pirates kept the Wildcats close through the first quarter playing to a 7-7 tie. That was when Central was able to string together 7 unanswered points. A three-pointer from Monte Vista junior Nick Torrez stopped the bleeding and got the Pirates out of the first quarter trailing 14-10.
The second chapter was when the visitors really began to pull away. Monte Vista senior Jarren Chavez potted two buckets in the second stanza to lead an 8-point quarter from the home team, and the Pirates went to the break trailing 30-18.
Back from the locker rooms, Monte Vista’s offense continued to struggle and settled for 6 points in the third quarter, four of which came from the free-throw line. Monte Vista went 6 of 8 from the charity stripe on Tuesday night.
Facing a 45-24 deficit to begin the fourth quarter, Monte Vista’s offense would get a little room to work. As the quarter wore on the Pirates put together a 6-point run and were able to close the distance a little before the end of regulation. The Monte Vista’s team lead in scoring went to junior Tyrese Otero who picked up 11 points, courtesy of a 9-point rush in the fourth quarter. Otero was followed by senior Jarren Chavez who also hit double digits with 10 points.
The loss makes three in a row and knocks the Pirates down to .500 on the season. Monte Vista will be looking for a quick rebound and will get a chance to do just that when they head north for a meeting with Kent Denver (2-3).
The Sun Devils are a game removed from their own three-game skid and will be playing both Alamosa and Monte Vista over the weekend. Alamosa at 7 p.m. on the 10th and Monte Vista at 1:30 p.m. on the 11th.