Despite a close first half, the St. Mary’s Pirates pillaged the visiting Salida High School Spartan cagers 80-46 during a Tri-Peaks League contest Tuesday in Colorado Springs.

Spartan coach Donnie Kaess said he and his team knew what to expect from the Pirates but were not mentally prepared for a full-court press the entire game.

“We played good the first half despite the high pressure. We were only down 12 points at the half,” he said. “But they ran the floor at a high pace the entire second half, and I think we just ran out of gas.”

St. Mary’s took a 20-10 lead in the first quarter and doubled its score in the second. Salida rallied with 18 points in the second and trailed 40-28 at the half.

Too many mistakes and too many turnovers in the third quarter cost his team the game, Kaess said, adding, “It is hard to win with 28 turnovers – it is hard to come back from that. They jumped on us in the third and we never recovered.”

The Pirates racked up an additional 26 points in the third quarter while allowing Salida to score only 7. The Salida boys rallied during the fourth quarter, netting 11 points while keeping St. Mary’s to 14, but the damage was done.

Offensively, junior Myles Godina led Salida with 21 points and 20 rebounds, a feat Kaess called “huge.” Junior Leif Gislason had 22 rebounds and senior Nico Granzella racked up 11 rebounds.

With the loss, the Spartans drop to 3-3 in league play and 6-6 overall. St. Mary’s improved to 4-2 in league and 10-3 overall.

In junior varsity action, the Pirates eked out a 73-64 victory. Kaess said he was pleased with the junior varsity players.

Freshman Chase Diesslin gave the Spartan C team its 63-61 victory on a buzzer beater.

The Spartans will host Ellicott Thursday, with the varsity game tipping off at 7:30 p.m., and hit the road Friday to face Lamar.

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