Thu Feb 14th, 2019
Special to the Drum
Regular season to end at 3A threat Pagosa
Though they may have read a quick mention or two online this season of powerhouse Del Norte, Craig Kaminsky’s Ouray girls haven’t seen the still-undefeated, No. 1-ranked [CHSAANow.com Class 2A poll] Lady Tigers in action.
Saturday, Feb. 9, visiting Ignacio gave OHS a decent glimpse of how they might appear.
Humbled 51-29 out in the San Luis Valley not two full days earlier, the Lady Bobcats traveled north and turned a relatively innocuous eight-point, first-quarter lead into an imposing 26-point halftime advantage en route to a 55-17 rampage.
And out of all the numbers recorded during the 2A/1A San Juan Basin League blowout – unfortunately for the Lady Trojans, on their designated Senior Day – two figures stood most prominently: Six, and zero.
‘Six’ being the total number of field goals OHS actually managed, and ‘zero’ the number of Lady ’Cats scoring in double figures. Diversity in scoring was indeed present for skipper Justa Whitt, however; ten players scored at least two points apiece, led by junior forward Makayla Howell’s nine.
Sophomore guard Ebonee Gomez, senior guard Kiana Valdez and freshman guard Monica Lucero each scored eight points for IHS (12-5, 11-0 SJBL), while sophomore guard Jayden Brunson booked seven and sophomore guard Charlize Valdez six. But without question, the most contented Lady Bobcat had to be reserve guard Elizabeth Valdez.
With the contest long since out of reach, the junior, back in action after suffering a nose injury more than a month earlier, not only scored a long-awaited basket during the third quarter when Whitt’s reserves began seeing extended minutes, but also drew a foul on the play.
Celebrating with hands high and a loud shout, Valdez was the tenth Ignacio player to score. And though her and-one bonus free throw was unsuccessful it had no negative effect (IHS finished 9-of-12 from the charity stripe; OHS went 3-of-10) on the squad’s mojo.
Saluted before tipoff along with classmates Jaden Kunz and Nathalie Valenzuela, senior guard Lauren Fairchild knocked down two three-pointers – matching Ignacio’s collective total – and totaled seven points to pace Ouray (8-7, 5-6).
Her first make from distance actually tied the score at 4-4 early, but helped by Brunson’s lone trey the Lady ’Cats went on a 9-0 run to take control, and didn’t allow OHS freshman Katie Woodman’s buzzer-beating jumper to generate any second-quarter momentum for the home team, which still trailed 17-9.
One of freshman reserve River Manley’s two free-throw tries was the Lady Trojans’ only second-quarter point, while junior Larissa Gallegos’ singular connection from behind the arc helped IHS win the quarter 19-1 and enter intermission up 36-10. Slowing the tempo a bit in the third quarter to fine-tune their offensive sets, the Lady ’Cats – now 9-2 overall in the New Year – cruised into the final frame sitting atop a 45-13 pad.
Woodman finished with four points for OHS and freshman Aynsleigh Wood contributed three.
Against DNHS (17-0 overall after the next day’s 65-37 home win over Sargent), Gomez led Ignacio with 11 points, but the Lady ’Cats were in deep trouble after falling behind 19-0 in just eight minutes. Sophomore center Shelcie Gosney scored five points, while Howell and Gallegos each chipped in four and Brunson three.
Lady Tiger junior guard Kendra Parra led all players with her ten first-quarter points and 20 for the game. Senior guard Lacie Jones added 12, while senior guard Sophia McConnell, senior post Kiela Madrid, junior guard Yesenia Rosales and sophomore post Kaeci Madrid each scored four.
Up next, IHS’ regular-season slate is scheduled to conclude Friday, Feb. 15, at non-league Pagosa Springs. Wes Lewis’ Lady Pirates began the week No. 3 in the CHSAANow.com Class 3A poll, standing 15-2 overall and 9-0 in the Intermountain League prior to visiting Bayfield on the 14th.
Results from Ignacio’s 2/12 SJBL visit from Mancos were unavailable at press time Monday, Feb. 11.
QUOTABLE: In reporting how the Lady ’Cats fared at Del Norte, Whitt said humorously, “We couldn’t hit the broad side of the backboard.” Fortunately, that problem was rapidly remedied, or appeared to be, in Ouray.
CHSAANOW.COM CLASS 2A GIRLS’ BASKETBALL POLL (2/11)
Others Receiving Votes – Holyoke, Simla, Sanford, IGNACIO.