Lady Pirates increase intensity level as District nears

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Polson Pirates girls basketball coach Juan Perez wants to amplify the intensity as his Pirates prepare for the final stretch of the regular season.

Perez and his team have their collective sights set on Class A Districts set to begin on Feb. 15-17 at the Ronan Events Center.

The Lady Pirates will play a total of three more regular season games against Browning, Bigfork, and Libby before entering the postseason phase of their schedule.

“That is our goal is to pick up the intensity and do to do things that put our players out of harm’s way,” Perez said. “We have to pick and choose when we pick up our intensity and what we are doing in order to accomplish (our goals) without losing anyone to injury.”

Polson, who headed into last week’s play against Columbia Falls winning two out of its previous four games, couldn’t sustain momentum with back-to-back losses falling to Hamilton 52-21 and Ronan 70-53.

The Lady Pirates must be able to reduce the number of turnovers they commit in order to generate more opportunities on offense and reduce transition points for their opponents, Perez said.

“This last weekend we were able to put some points up but we weren’t doing what we needed to do on both defense and offense,” Perez said. “The first thing we have to do (in order to correct that) is take care of the basketball. We can’t afford to turn the ball over and we need to generate more opportunities on offense. When we play against Hamilton, they are a good team that doesn’t make a lot of mistakes and they capitalize on their opponent’s mistakes.”

In order to produce more opportunities on offense, the Pirates’ coaching staff is emphasizing quicker shots in a game situation.

“We are putting an emphasis on getting our shots off a little quicker,” Perez said. “We just can’t wait until the second half to really pick things up. We have to take care of the details (of basketball) and when we do that, everything else will fall into play.”

Perez said his team must be able to sustain its aggressiveness for four quarters and establish momentum early. Polson only manufactured 12 first-half points against the Lady Broncs and 24 first-half points against the Maidens. Though they scored more second-half points, they 40 in the first half of their 70-53 loss.

“We have to maintain aggressiveness both offensively and defensively and not let our opponents hit their shooting spots,” Perez said. “We have to beat them to the prime spot and hopefully, from there we can force them to take some tough shots and bad shots to rebound. We have to go strong to the basket and be stronger when we rebound.”

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