Ignacio’s Monika Lucero (20) drives the ball around the perimeter versus Holyoke during last season’s Class 2A State Championships ‘Great Eight’ inside the Budweiser Events Center in Loveland. Though their season was cut short following the loss to HHS, the Lady ’Cats will begin the shortened 2020-21 season ranked seventh in 2A.
Ignacio’s Charlize Valdez (12) prepares for a huddle break and return to the court during action last season at Dove Creek. The Lady ’Cats logged a solid victory over DCHS, and will again face the difficult Lady Bulldogs during the upcoming, shortened 2020-21 campaign.
Photo Credit: Joel Priest | Special to the Drum
Photo Credit: Joel Priest | Special to the Drum
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Lady ’Cats starting off No. 7 in 2A

Minus one longtime 2A/1A San Juan Basin League familiar this winter, Ignacio’s girls’ basketball schedule will still get underway with the Lady Bobcats (18-6 overall last winter, 11-0 against the SJBL, 8-0 versus its 2A side) facing numerous challenges – including a season-opening Jan. 30 road test at non-league Sanford.

Set to begin their own 2020-21 grind hosting Westcliffe-based Custer County on the 28th and SJBL’ers Mancos on the 29th prior to IHS, SHS went 16-7 last winter and won their first round ‘Great Eight’ game at the 2A State Championships over Rye, 46-31 – shocking the No. 3 Lady T’bolts as the No. 6 in the bracket. Seeded No. 7, Ignacio fell in the same phase, 47-34 to No. 2 Holyoke, and would have next played Rye on Day 2 in the consolation-bracket semifinals.

The Lady ’Cats will then host 3A Bayfield the evening of Feb. 5. The improving Lady Wolverines went 9-13 last season, but after surviving Intermountain League District Tournament play-in action against Montezuma-Cortez lost to both Pagosa Springs and Alamosa to conclude the campaign.

SJBL action is scheduled to commence on the 9th with Dolores (7-14 last winter) coming to town, but IHS will then travel to Ouray (2-14 in 2019-20, lost 39-33 to Nucla in the 1A-District 1 Tournament play-in) on the 12th, and to Mancos on the 16th. With Ridgway (6-17 last season) not entering a team in ’20-21, taking away one home-and-home for each of the SJBL’s 2A-level programs, Ignacio filled a vacancy with a 2/18 home game (5 p.m. JV start, varsity follows) versus 3A Pagosa Springs.

Regular-season IML champions as well as IML District Tournament rulers, the Lady Pirates went 20-4 overall last year and advanced all the way to the 32-team Class 3A State Tournament’s ‘Final Four,’ where they would have battled Colorado Springs St. Mary’s had the COVID-19 scare not cut short the season.

PSHS will begin the COVID-shortened ’20-21 campaign ninth in the preseason CHSAANow.com 3A rankings; the Lady ’Cats – who edged Pagosa 36-35 last season – check in at No. 7 in Class 2A.

The very next night, the Lady ’Cats will revisit their own postseason run from last winter, with non-league Sargent returning to IHS Gymnasium. Like Sanford (2A’s preseason No. 3) part of the Southern Peaks League, the Lady Farmers finished 9-14 last winter but 1-8 in their last nine – including a loss at Ignacio in the 2A-Region VIII Tournament semis.

Ignacio’s first look at 2A SJBL’ers Telluride concludes the week Saturday afternoon, Feb. 20. The Lady Miners went 8-14 last winter but crashed hard in postseason play – losing 71-2 to IHS in the 2A-District 3 Tournament championship and then 50-10 at Meeker in the Region III semis.

DHS will host the Lady ’Cats next on the 23rd, before Ignacio welcomes Cedaredge Friday evening, Feb. 26. The Lady Bruins – this year part of a 2A/1A Western Slope League, South Division – finished 19-5 last year, taking second in the 3A WSL and then ultimately losing to Greeley’s University High in the 3A State Tournament’s second (or ‘Sweet 16’) round.

Mancos (6-17 in 2019-20) will come calling the evening of March 2, before IHS closes out regular season play visiting Dove Creek on the 4th and Telluride on Saturday, March 6.

Despite losing to the Lady ’Cats, DCHS still ended up a solid 18-4 overall – winning 1A-District 1 by defeating both SJBL’ers Nucla and WSL’ers De Beque, but then suffering a season-ending 41-32 loss to State-bound Cotopaxi in Region I, Bracket 2. (CHS advanced along with Mosca Sangre de Cristo but did not have to play the Bracket 1-besting Lady Thunderbirds to crown an overall regional champion.)

Preseason CHSAANOW.com Class 2A Girls’ Basketball Poll (1/18/21)

  1. Rye
  2. Limo
  3. Sanfor
  4. Holyoke
  5. Wray
  6. Rocky Ford
  8. Del Norte
  9. Meeker
  10. Cedaredge
  11. Yuma
  12. Fort Collins Heritage Christian
  13. Holly
  14. Oak Creek Soroco
  15. Peyton
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