Lady Cats lash Mancos, Telluride

Ignacio’s Alejandra Lujan spots intended target Ellie Seibel (12) over Telluride’s Sierra Shambaugh (15) during SJBL road action on Saturday, Jan. 16.
Joel Priest | Special to the Drum

 

Averaging just over 12 points per game, but with a renewed confidence after a 25-24 win at non-league 1A Crested Butte the night before, Telluride tipped off back inside their MinerDome Saturday, Jan. 16, against Ignacio and actually got the start they sought with senior Cindy Matamoros and junior Whitney Wells each scoring a basket.

And despite the first of Lady Bobcat sophomore Avionne Gomez’s four three-pointers falling to get IHS restarted after a 63-25 victory at Mancos the night before, the Lady Miners’ lead somehow held until 1:20 remained in the first quarter, when senior Gibran Silva cleaned up a miss for a 5-4 advantage.

“The girls came out a bit flat, in my opinion, and then they picked it up,” said IHS head coach Shane Seibel. “They got their mental state together, then they just went after it and had fun!”

Unfortunately for THS, from that moment on its production was only average; Telluride managed only eight points the rest of the way, while Ignacio tore the 2A/1A San Juan Basin League game wide open with a 33-0 run spanning the third and most of the fourth quarter to win easily, 66-12.

Sophomore Hilda Garcia led the way with 21 points, 12 in the third alone, and Gomez, via a slick Chrystianne Valdez assist in transition, totaled 20. Sophomore Allisianna Marquez-Baker netted seven off the bench, while Valdez, Silva and junior Alejandra Lujan – who’d mangled MHS for a 15-point, 10-rebound double-double – each booked five.

“Tonight was really a lot of unselfish play. Not like there wasn’t any last night, but I thought as we ended the game – my emphasis is not how we start, but how we finish – they really finished well together,” Seibel said.

“Even though we had a starter [senior Ellie Seibel] going through some tough times … not able to find the scorebook, the team rallied around one of their captains and showed they can play at a high level. I was proud.”

Freshman Jess Pack’s single free throw was her only point for the Lady Miners (1-6, 0-3 SJBL), but it got THS on the board at last after the Lady Bobcats’ aforementioned rampage, making the margin 55-8 after it had been 22-7 at intermission. Matamoros finished with four points in defeat and Wells a hard-fought three.

“We were really focused on boxing out, trying to give them only one opportunity at the offensive side because we knew they were taller than us,” Seibel said, addressing Telluride’s Pack-led post size. “Everybody had to be physical, and make sure they made contact … to limit them to one shot. They had some big girls!”

Garcia poured in 17 points in the rout of Mancos, sinking three treys, and Valdez contributed eight. Seibel and senior Miriam Fernandez-Lopez each scored six, and Gomez and Silva each had four as IHS used a 20-point third quarter to separate for good after building a 31-6 halftime lead.

“It was about honoring our opponent, honoring the game of basketball – never underestimating our opponent, never playing down,” said Seibel. “We just played hard.”

Junior Brittney Peacock led the Lady Jays with ten points, but classmate Nicole Hess (nine) and senior Jessica Gutierrez (six) were her only teammates to score en route to dipping to 3-4, 1-2.

Having improved to 6-2, 3-0 with the weekend sweep, up next for the Lady Cats – ranked ninth in the CHSAANow.com Class 2A poll at the time – will be a Jan. 22 visit from Dove Creek, followed by the rumble inside IHS Gymnasium with 3A Bayfield on the 26th and then a rematch with Dolores on the 29th.

Results from Ignacio’s 1/19 neutral-site test against Durango (6-2, 0-0 4A/5A Southwestern; played at Fort Lewis College’s Whalen Gymnasium) were unfortunately unavailable by the Drum’s deadline.

 

CALENDAR CHECK

 

Originally slated for Jan. 8, but postponed due to the week’s snowstorms, Ridgway’s visit to Ignacio has been rescheduled for February 5. The junior-varsity boys’ game will get things underway at 4:00 p.m., followed by the varsity girls’ and varsity boys’ games.

 

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