Fri Mar 4th, 2016
Special to the Drum
Tags: 2A-District 3 Tournament, 2A/1A San Juan Basin League, Adams State University, Anthony Manzanares, Austin McCaw, Blue Jays, Bobcats, IHS, Joaquin King, Kai Roubideaux, Mancos, Monte Vista High School, Montezuma-Cortez High School, Nick Herrera, Ridgway, Telluride, tucker ward, wyatt hayes
Draw regional’s 2-seed
Stefan Reiter couldn’t help but beam after some eleventh-hour planning paid regional-qualifying dividends on day one of the 2A-District 3 Tournament, held Feb. 26-27 at Montezuma-Cortez High School.
“You want to hear something funny?” he asked, following Telluride’s exciting 53-48 escape from no-quit Mancos in the event’s second semifinal. “I just taught them that defense today. Only had time to practice it in our run-through … and it worked!”
Frustrated Blue Jays fans found a little solace in the fact that THS and their 1-3-1 scheme would be put to the ultimate test the next afternoon, and weren’t afraid to vocally remind Reiter’s Miners: ‘Have fun with Ignacio!’
Having already proven themselves unwilling to play at Ridgway’s ultra-conservative pace in the previous semi, the Bobcats weren’t about to be denied another district-level title on day two by modified zone-style resistance barely 24 hours into the enemy’s mental playbook.
And with a 28-point, fourth-quarter explosion IHS finished what the previous evening’s confident 18-point first quarter had started, leaving the 2A/1A San Juan Basin League’s champs with a 60-41 win over RHS and a more impressive 60-27 trouncing of THS.
Senior guards Anthony Manzanares and Wyatt Hayes combined for 37 points (Manzanares 19, Hayes 18) in the 19-point defeat of the Demons, and seven of Ignacio’s destructive 11 three-pointers as the Bobcats’ lead grew from 18-11 after one frame, to 31-20 through two and an insurmountable 49-29 beginning the fourth.
Senior center Nick Herrera scored seven points and junior reserve guard Joaquin King six as only seven Cats scratched the scoring column. However only five Demons did so, led by senior Hasten Beamer’s 15 and classmate Eli Hagemeyer’s 12, and IHS’ bench outscored Ridgway’s by a 16-0 margin.
Ignacio went 7-of-8 at the free-throw line as well, while RHS was a woeful 1-of-11.
Telluride was a much better 7-of-10 in the take-all tilt, but with the Cats 12-of-15 accurate the Miners’ task was made all the more arduous after single-digit scoring in Quarters 1, 2 and 3 – by the ends of which IHS had built up leads of 11-5, 21-10 and 32-14.
To THS’ credit, their defending – which had flummoxed MHS’ Ro Paschal – held Herrera to just two points, but Ignacio’s big had help from senior Austin McCaw (seven points) and sophomore Kai Roubideaux (two).
Hayes netted 12, but while Manzanares scored just five, senior Tucker Ward, despite lacking a gear due to an ailing knee, blew up for a game-high 15 points after a rare scoreless showing versus RHS. Senior reserve Chase Sanchez dropped a late nine, helped by two triples.
Miner standout junior forward Andrew Denny scored only seven points, and senior guard Zak Hild six.
Seeded second in Region I, the Bobcats (now 19-2 overall) will begin the event against a familiar opponent – Mancos – at 6:00 p.m. Friday, March 4, inside Adams State University’s Plachy Hall. The 7-seed Jays (9-12) edged the Demons (11-11) 60-56 for third place in D-3, and the victorious SJBL side in Alamosa will then face either #3 Center or #6 Sargent on the 5th at noon for the right to go to Pueblo and the State Championships.
Representing the Southern Peaks League, CHS (18-4; District 1 runners-up) and SHS (11-11; fourth place, D-1) will strive to survive another day on the 4th at Monte Vista High School.