Thu Dec 30th, 2021
Special to the Drum
Categories: Sports, Basketball, Sports
Tags: 2A/1A San Juan Basin, Abby Tate, Autumn Sage, Avaleena Nanaeto, Darlyn Mendoza-Lechuga, Elissa Mars, Grace Pargin, Harmony Reynolds, Isabella LeMasters, joel priest, Laci Brunson, lady bobcats, Lady Wolverines, Lauren deKay, Lauren Moran, Lily Lewin, Marissa Olguin, Monika Lucero, Solymar Cosio, Tony Gomez, Victoria Brown
IHS hovering at .500 entering holidays
Minus Monika Lucero, the Lady Bobcats certainly did their injured senior guard proud Friday, Dec. 17, at the expense of none other than Pine River Valley neighbors — Bayfield.
Getting three-pointers from both junior guard Laci Brunson and freshman guard Marissa Olguin, plus six of junior forward/center Harmony Reynolds’ game-high 19 points, Ignacio not only outscored the hosting Lady Wolverines 19-0 during the second quarter, but tore open what had been a two-point game, 8-6, after a slow-played first frame and never looked back in winning 57-16 away.
“The information I got was that she tore her other [her left] Achilles,” first-year head coach Tony Gomez said, briefly addressing Lucero’s condition. “You know, she’s with us. Wherever we go … always, she’s with us.”
“We worked hard and just let the girls’ hard work, you know, pay dividends,” he continued, speaking on his squad’s effort inside BHS Gymnasium. “To be disciplined and stick together, be patient … That’s what we were looking for tonight, patience and discipline.”
Aggressive on the glass, Reynolds also pulled down a reported 12 rebounds for a confidence-building double-double. Senior Avaleena Nanaeto totaled 11 points, while Brunson and sophomore guard Darlyn Mendoza-Lechuga also reached double figures offensively with 10 points each as IHS (3-3, 0-0 2A/1A San Juan Basin) could realistically have attacked from any angle.
Defensively, Nanaeto (seven rebounds) and Reynolds each nabbed a team-high six steals.
“They’re active, but we’ve got to keep them out of foul trouble,” Gomez said of the eager duo. “They were out of trouble so I told them to be aggressive; they give us opportunities, and we just try to capitalize on those.”
“Harmony’s a beast inside; she gets a lot of our rebounds. And Avee did really good too; both of them work good together,” said Brunson (seven assists). “I feel we played really good, and I thought it was great that Bayfield kept their energy the whole game.”
Senior center Abby Tate paced BHS (0-5, 0-0 3A Intermountain), this season under first-year skipper – and former Ignacio assistant – Lauren Moran, with seven points and classmate Jordan Martindale booked four despite taking a nasty fall in traffic while attempting to gain possession beneath the Lady Wolverines’ basket.
“I think it was a really in-the-moment thing, and I hit my head,” she recalled. “It was like, ‘Oh gosh, did I just get a concussion?’ Like, ‘Am I out?’ But after sitting there a while I was like, ‘Alright … it’s not that bad.’”
Olguin finished with five points and sophomore center Solymar Cosio two, as the Lady ’Cats entered the Christmas/New Year’s break having gained vital momentum they hope can be sustained going into a true test Thurs., Jan. 6, versus Dove Creek. After dominating 1A Monticello, Utah, 54-12 and 1A Monument Valley, Utah, 50-28 to win their own Dec. 17-18 Lady Bulldog Classic, DCHS (7-1, 0-0 SJBL) rose to No. 9 in the CHSAANow.com Class 1A poll entering the holiday pause.
Getting a wrong-way Bayfield basket during the third quarter, helping them win the frame 20-5 – after going into halftime ahead 12-11 – Ignacio’s junior varsity then held off BHS’ late comeback to claim the Dec. 17 JV game 41-29.
Lady Wolverine sophomores Elissa Mars and Lily Lewin led all players in scoring, booking 11 and 10 points, respectively, but the home team’s 12-of-26 free-throw shooting proved most crippling down the stretch.
Developing junior post presence Isabella LeMasters led the Lady ’Cats (5-19 FT) with nine points, seven coming after halftime. Sophomores Lauren deKay and Grace Pargin each contributed eight points, cashing three three-pointers between them. Freshman Victoria Brown booked six points and junior Autumn Sage five, including a key fourth-quarter trey.