The fact that the previous night’s game versus a perennial San Juan Basin League rival had gone into overtime might have hinted, win or lose, that Ignacio’s girls’ varsity might have been mentally satisfied.
But they lost, and they were not.
Wasting no time to avenge themselves, the Lady Bobcats traveled to Nucla the next afternoon for a Valentine’s Day test against the ever-physical Lady Mustangs and handed NHS a 63-36 defeat – showing adjustments needed after their own 54-49 loss to Ridgway inside SunUte Community Center had indeed been made.
And with great gusto.
Seen with the evidence of sweat and tears underneath her eyes after facing RHS, senior point guard Sky Cotton – whose missed free throw with 0:06 remaining in the fourth quarter allowed the Lady Demons to survive into OT – netted 20 points in Montrose County’s West End and also distributed seven assists.
Freshman forward Hilda Garcia, who’d fouled out in the team’s home (along with junior forward Ellie Seibel) loss, then burned Nucla for a game-best 25 in helping IHS improve to 13-4 overall, 9-1 in the 2A/1A SJBL.
The Lady Mustangs dropped to 10-6, 6-5.
Freshman guard Avionne Gomez, Ignacio’s ‘sixth man,’ had paced the squad against Ridgway with 13.
Up next is the Lady Bobcats’ final SunUte date on their slate, Feb. 20 against Norwood.
The reigning Class 1A State Champions, despite being ranked second in the CHSAANow.com poll (behind only Eastern Plains 18-0 power Kit Carson) were to have hosted Ouray on the 17th before traveling to Ignacio for the 5:30 p.m. tip, and stood 15-0 overall, 11-0 against all circuit resistance entering that engagement.
And the stakes for both couldn’t be higher. Should the Lady Mavericks win, the SJBL’s overall title is theirs. An Ignacio victory, however, gives the Lady Cats the clinching head-up advantage in the standings, and a triumph in the regular-season’s overall finale – Feb. 21 at Telluride – would polish off the issue quite nicely.