Fri Jun 26th, 2015
Special to the Drum
Points, to her, were more or less point-less.
Floor burns, on the other hand … Sky Cotton sought out such Colorado High School Coaches Association All-State Games souvenirs happily. Or better yet, to use – or reveal, to many – her actual first name: Marillee.
“I just think to myself, ‘This is my last time playing. I’m going to go out – whether I score or not – letting these girls know who I am!’” said the graduated Lady Bobcat, desiring to show all inside Adams State University’s Plachy Hall the Ignacio hustle which made her a constant problem for 2A/1A San Juan Basin League foes.
Putting her braced left knee through painful paces one last time as a prep-level ’baller, Cotton did display her full-throttle ways and even managed to get extra ink beside her name in the scorebook for kicks.
Playing for the ASG Red Team on Saturday, June 13, SJBL rival guard Jordan Williams (1A Norwood) had ironically denied Cotton and ASG White a spot in the championship by sinking a free throw with 0:08.1 seconds left for a 40-39 escape in the morning semifinal – in which IHS’ standout went without so much as a charity chuck.
That status was emphatically updated later that afternoon.
And after which, White left little doubt they’d be leaving Alamosa with one last win to their varied names.
“Offense, we just run simple motions and go through the play,” Cotton said. “We’re going to come out and just run the floor … we know to run ’em.”
But before running ASG Black off the floor, 55-39 after two college-style halves of play, White needed a spark to prime them for the final 20 minutes. Cotton provided it.
Given the ball with fewer than ten seconds remaining before halftime, Cotton let fly a three-pointer from at least three feet behind the arc and swished it through with less than three ticks before the buzzer.
She would start the second half upon the trainer’s table after apparently wracking an ankle during the shoot-around before play resumed, but eventually returned to action knowing her mission had been accomplished, and that the furious comeback begun after intermission against ASG Red had been completed.
“It was amazing,” she said. “We were down, like, sixteen at the half [actually 23-11] and then one of our girls – Jay – just lit ’em up with those threes! Overall it was just … amazing.”
‘Jay’ was 4A Pueblo South guard Jaylyn Duran, who canned four triples and booked a game-best 16 points in the loss, then sank two more from deep as part of a leading 15-point performance in the victory – in which all ten White jerseys netted at least two and two of Black’s starters were held to zero.
“It’s an awesome experience with these ladies,” Cotton said. “They have amazing talent … when they have their goal set in mind, they go get it. No matter what.”
“Honestly, I get choked up about it.”
CHSCA ALL-STATE GIRLS’ 3RD-PLACE GAME BOX:
WHITE (31-24 – 55): M.Schaaf (Pagosa Springs) 2 1-2 5, J.Duran (Pueblo South) 5 3-4 15, M.Mosby (Del Norte) 3 0-0 6, A.Perryman (Fountain-Fort Carson) 3 1-2 7, P.Shahan (Pagosa Springs) 2 0-0 4, S.COTTON (IGNACIO) 1 0-0 3, L.Pearson (Elbert) 2 0-1 5, J.Clawson (Ault Highland) 0 3-4 3, L.Aziz (La Jara Centauri) 1 2-2 5, M.Gonzales (Castle Rock Castle View) 1 0-0 2. TOTALS: 20 10-15 55. 3-POINTERS: Duran 2, COTTON, Pearson, Aziz.
BLACK (18-21 – 39): J.Canty (Sanford) 1 0-2 2, H.Herman (Seibert Hi-Plains) 0 0-0 0, A.Kachin (Collbran Plateau Valley) 1 2-2 5, L.McDonald (Salida) 1 4-4 6, K.Sawyer (Cotopaxi) 0 0-0 0, S.Johnson (Iliff Caliche) 2 5-6 9, J.Baer (Akron) 2 3-4 7, C.Kreutzer (Hoehne) 2 0-2 5, E.Lambrecht (Canon City) 0 5-6 5. TOTALS: 9 19-26 39. 3-POINTERS: Kachin, Kreutzer.