Bobcat boys pressure #4 Limon in tourney IHS finishes LHS Invite 1-1, second place

Ignacio’s Triston Thompson (11) looks to make a mid-air pass between Ordway-based Crowley County’s Nathaniel Aguilar (21) and Michael Morin (24) during the Limon Invitational’s first semifinal Friday, Nov. 30.
Ignacio’s Ocean Hunter (32) tries shooting over Limon’s Cannan Bennett (2) during the LHS Invitational’s championship game Saturday, Dec. 1.
Ignacio’s Ocean Hunter (32) battles Ordway-based Crowley County’s Kevin Suarez (14) for a rebound during the Limon Invitational’s first semifinal Friday, Nov. 30.
Joel Priest | Special to the Drum
Joel Priest | Special to the Drum
Joel Priest | Special to the Drum

Behind 11 points from sophomore post Bryce Finn, Ignacio stunned the Limon Invitational’s hosting team and rallied to win the championship’s first quarter, 18 to 13.

Behind 11 total three-pointers, however, the Limon Invitational’s hosting team stunned Ignacio and rallied to win the championship itself, 63 to 46 Saturday evening, Dec. 1, out in Lincoln County.

“I think we’re underrated, and underestimated,” said Finn, who finished with 12 points against the Badgers before fouling out with 29.1 seconds left.  “No one thinks we’re going to do anything, but I think we’re strong in many different places and we’ll be alright.”

“Limon’s too athletic,” head coach Chris Valdez said.  “Coming off the State Football Championship, they’re…not in basketball shape, but they’ve still got a couple kids that don’t play football, that shoot the ball really well.  Plus, they’ve got the big guys inside that we just aren’t physical enough to play with.”

“I think we’ll do a better job if we can stay out of foul trouble with Ocean (junior post Hunter) and Bryce,” he continued.  “We can play, even though we’re undersized; we can play with kids four, five inches taller than us.”

Hit with four fouls in the Bobcats’ season-opening 52-38 win over Ordway-based Crowley County in the two-day tournament’s first semifinal, Hunter would receive a disqualifying fifth against LHS with 57.8 ticks left, but managed four points against the #4-ranked Badgers and eight versus the unranked Chargers.

Stepping his foul-line game up from 1-of-7 against CCHS to 5-of-9 (making his first five tries) against LHS, sophomore post Dylan Labarthe logged three and seven points, respectively, while sophomore guard Triston Thompson, originally from Ignacio, but back this year after living in the Denver area, dropped 14 on Crowley County and 13 on Limon.

“I’ve never played one game with the basketball team at Ignacio, so it actually felt pretty good,” he said.  “It just feels good to have people cheer you on and stuff.”

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