For all intents and purposes, the Wolverines hit rock bottom when visiting Pagosa Springs.
And having been held to single digits and losing by 55 on Jan. 19, it wasn't all that long ago that Bayfield could have surrendered their collective sword, thrown in the towel, raised a giant white flag on the 2017-18 season.
"It's obviously a challenge," junior Tymbree Florian said, "but I think playing them at their home is going to prepare us and get us ready. We're not going to be so blindsided, and we're going to try our best."
And indeed, the girls have chosen to battle on, and PSHS found that out in this past Saturday's rematch.
Having scored more points in the first quarter (8) than they did in the whole of their trip to PSHS Gymnasium, BHS managed to push much harder against the Pirates before the 3A Intermountain's leaders pushed back to take a 37-14 halftime lead en route to a 68-20 win inside BHS Gymnasium.
As expected, Pagosa Springs senior Morgan Lewis was again tough to contain and finished with a game-best 26 points as PSHS improved to 8-0 in the IML and 14-2 overall.
The BHS girls celebrated a win, however, on Friday with a wild 51-47 road win at Monte Vista the previous evening.
Behind eight first-quarter points from freshman Kira Riley and five from Lanning, BHS' inside attack helped build an 18-14 lead after the opening eight minutes. But MVHS, helped by two three-pointers by fiery senior Mariah Barbosa, rallied to take a 31-26 lead into halftime.
A breakaway layup by freshman Halle Loveday brought Bayfield even at 35-35 with 2:30 left in the third quarter. Monte Vista then crept ahead going into the fourth via senior Kaitlyn Porter's trey with 0:19 remaining.
"We had a long ride here. So I think we were all kind of tired, but we came out strong," Riley said. "We were really aggressive and it just showed that we wanted to beat them again."
But beat them by methods and a margin mirroring the 51-49 result back on Jan. 13?
Not sure if that was the idea, but that's what happened.
After Barbosa fouled out with 2:32 left in the game and Monte Vista ahead 42-39, the Wolverines scrapped back to tie at 45-all via consecutive Lanning baskets following senior Tiarra Christensen's 10-foot jumper. Pirate junior Hannah Jones countered with a free throw, but Bayfield would go up by a point via an inside hoop by Riley with 37.9 seconds left.
Finishing with nine points, Jones sank another equalizing free throw, but Florian struck back from the stripe with 17.2 ticks remaining. Both her FTs missed the mark, but she rapidly made amends, sneaking up on MVHS' ball-handler to swipe possession from behind, then whipping the ball forward to Lanning, who scored from short range while taking a hack from MVHS sophomore Jovanna Arroyo.
"After the steal I knew she was coming for me," Lanning said. "Passed it right to me and it felt so good."
"I had all my faith in Jordan on that pass," said Florian. "The second I had it, I had all the confidence in the world she'd make that shot-that was 'game' for me; I could relax at that point."
With only three seconds left, Lanning missed the 'and-one' try, but the ball caromed right into Riley's hands for a buzzer-beating putback-giving her an impressive 14 points to complement Lanning's game-best 21.
"I think Jordan and I worked really hard, and when Mikayla (Barnes) went in she worked really hard too," Riley said, discussing BHS' post play minus freshman Macee Schultz, who was held out due to a concussion. "Everyone has to work together to make good passes, cuts to the basket."
"It's a lot of fun, getting a lot of minutes on varsity as a freshman," she continued. "I think that's cool that Coach sees that in me, and I think I grow stronger as a player throughout each game."
Florian finished the win with eight points, Christensen booked four and freshman Madison Wells two.
Up next, Bayfield (5-12, 2-6 IML) will host Montezuma-Cortez (4-13, 2-6) Saturday, Feb. 10, at 3:30 p.m. The Wolverines will then travel to Alamosa on Thursday, Feb. 15, for a 5:30 start.