Ignacio’s Tucker Ward (22) rushes in to congratulate teammate Joaquin King after King’s buzzer beating three-pointer ending the first quarter of IHS’ Dec. 17 game at Dolores. The scoreboard tells an incredible story with the second quarter set to begin after the celebration.
Ignacio’s Anthony Manzanares (0) lets fly a three-pointer over Dolores’ Jalen Balderrama (10) during the Bobcats’ Dec. 17 game at DHS. Manzanares scored 15 points – all in the first quarter, including three threes – to fuel IHS’ 72-30 win.
Photo Credit: Joel Priest | Special to the Drum
Photo Credit: Joel Priest | Special to the Drum
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Bears broken by unrestrained Bobcats


IHS nets 11 3’s, wins away by 42

Neither Chris Valdez nor counterpart Larry Schwartz said much during the fourth quarter.

The former seemed content watching his squad make up for mistakes which had nearly cost them dearly at non-league 2A Center six nights earlier, while the latter … his nightmare appeared to have no end.

Scariest of all for the Dolores head coach was that of Valdez’s seven bench players, all of whom saw extensive minutes inside DHS Gymnasium during the teams’ 2A/1A San Juan Basin League opener Dec. 17, only forward Kai Roubideaux didn’t make at least one three-pointer in helping the Bobcats tear the Bears apart, 72-30.

Reserves Kole McCaw, Chase Sanchez and Lawrence Valdez canned, respectively, IHS’ ninth, tenth and eleventh treys of the contest, finishing what senior Anthony Manzanares had started with his first triple early in what will likely remain Dolores Basketball’s most horrifying eight minutes of the 2015-16 winter.

Having netted an easy layup to get the scoring underway, Manzanares then swished a three off the left wing for a near-instant 5-0 lead. Backcourt mate Wyatt Hayes then came up with a steal at the other end, and sent the rock forward to Manzanares for another two points before Manzanares drained another three.

Seeing how scalding his classmate’s shooting hand was, Hayes wasted no time borrowing some of that heat to hit his first three, and an incensed Schwartz burned his second timeout with 5:49 still left in the first quarter.

Internally, the man had to have boiled over when Ignacio seniors Tucker Ward and Nick Herrera then powered right through the Bears’ middle for layups, and Manzanares then cashed in a Kruz Pardo feed set up by a Roubideaux steal as Valdez began utilizing his second string probably much earlier than planned.

Backup guard Johnny Valdez then made the score 20-0 with IHS’ first free throw and Pardo followed with a layup before DHS senior Branden Donaldson finally got the Bears on their own scoreboard with a breakaway finish and only – or, to the ’Cats, still – 93 seconds remaining in the period.

Johnny Valdez responded with Ignacio’s fifth make from distance, and after Manzanares put down the crew’s sixth from behind the arc – giving him a lethal 15 points in the frame – reserve Joaquin King buried the seventh as the buzzer sounded, standing well behind the line but near the DHS bench and right in Schwartz’s sight.

Fittingly, neither had much to say; King merely grinned and shrugged amidst his teammates’ celebration while jogging back to the IHS huddle, while Schwartz and his players could only look up at the bright red lights and see a 31-2 deficit glaring back down at them.

And then, of course, wait to see the full severity of the storm, fueled by the enemy’s pressing, trapping defense, during the suspense-less 24 regulation minutes which were to follow. All told, Ignacio (5-0, 1-0 SJBL) led 42-7 at halftime after a Roubideaux basket – meaning that after Lawrence Valdez’s three-pointer fell, every Bobcat to see action had scored at least two points – and then 56-10 after the third quarter.

Manzanares’ 15 held as the rout’s top total, Hayes broke into double figures with ten points, and Herrera finished with eight (but was 2-of-6 at the foul line; IHS hit only 5-of-15, after 9-of-21 at CHS). Ward and Pardo each booked seven points, Kole McCaw and older brother Austin five apiece and Johnny Valdez finished with four.

Coming off the bench, Donaldson totaled five in defeat for Dolores (2-4, 1-1), reserve junior Ruben Gomez had six, and sophomore regular Justin Purkat registered his team-high eight during the Bears’ 20-point fourth.

Owning the CHSAANow.com Class 2A poll’s No. 3 spot entering the holidays, IHS will resume action Jan. 8, 2016, with a SJBL visit from Ridgway. An away test at 4A Montezuma-Cortez awaits the following evening, preceding SJBL work in Mancos and Telluride on, respectively, the 15th and 16th.


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