by Joseph Bahr

Mail Staff Writer

The Salida High School girls’ basketball team defeated the James Irwin Lady Jaguars 55-19 Thursday in Colorado Springs.

Despite missing four players due to COVID-19, the Lady Spartans jumped out to an early 11-0 lead. The Lady Jaguars tried to battle back, but Salida resisted, taking a 24-7 lead into halftime before coasting to the win.

The victory improved the Lady Spartans’ record to 3-5 on the season.

“It was a good game for us to play,” said coach Keith Wyatt. “It was good to get back on the floor and play again.” It was the Lady Spartans’ first game in more than a week due to last weekend’s game being canceled because of COVID.

The team promoted several members of the junior varsity team to fill in for missing starters. “They did good,” said Wyatt. “They did a great job filling in for those four girls.” He said having a week of practice with the substitutes was a major benefit for their preparation.

The Lady Spartans were propelled to success by a strong performance from senior Caitlyn Smith, who led the team in points. “She was really good on the defensive end and had a lot of layups and passes,” Wyatt said.

He praised junior Sarah Chick as well. Chick had another strong showing, racking up rebounds and points. Juliana Anch, a sophomore, was another big contributor to Salida’s win. Wyatt said she had 8-10 points and played well for Salida in what he described as her first game with “heavy varsity minutes.”

The Lady Spartans’ next game is against Manitou Springs at Salida High School. The game starts at 1 p.m. Saturday.