Thu Feb 24th, 2022
Special to the Drum
Ignacio takes down Telluride, Dolores
About as happy to see the inside of IHS Gymnasium as they ever could be during the 2021-22 season, Ignacio’s boys followed up a tense 62-52 road win Friday, Feb. 18, at ever-troublesome Telluride with a 56-40 defeat the next afternoon of visiting Dolores – giving the still-developing, but hyper-hungry Bobcats five consecutive victories entering the postseason.
“We didn’t want to come in too cocky or too … anything,” junior guard Eppie Quintana said. “We just wanted to be ready; we knew they were going to be good.”
Individual statistics from the Dolores game had not been reported as of press time, as IHS improved to 14-5 overall and a second-place 6-2 against the 2A/1A San Juan Basin League’s 2A teams. Victims of a 55-54 upset by DHS the night before the underrated Bears traveled to Ignacio, Mancos (16-3 overall) still ended up a first-place 7-1; THS (6-13 overall) placed third at 4-4 and Dolores (8-9) improved to a fourth-place 3-5, but Ridgway (3-13 overall) ended up 0-8.
And the luck of the postseason draw certainly did the hard-luck Demons no favors; RHS’ initial destination was announced to be Ignacio, for a 2A-District 3 Tournament play-in ‘pigtail’ game Tues., Feb. 22.
Results were unavailable at press time, with the winner advancing to the combined SJBL/Western Slope tourney’s semifinal stage Fri., Feb. 25, at neutral Montezuma-Cortez H.S. The RHS-IHS winner will play that night at 7:30 p.m. against either Olathe or Cedaredge, WSL crews set to clash on the 22nd at CHS.
Third-place action will commence Sat., Feb. 26, at 11:30 a.m., with the championship slated for 2:30 p.m.
Inside Telluride’s MinerDome, Bobcat senior guard/forward Gabe Tucson went off for 13 first-quarter points – including three three-pointers – and finished with a game-high 27 points as Ignacio earned the aforementioned ten-point triumph. Quintana pumped in two treys and 12 total points and sophomore forward/center Gabe Cox contributed eight.
Freshman forward Charlie Pargin scored seven points, sophomore guard Devante Montoya sank one of IHS’ seven total threes and ended up with six, and junior F/C Dylan McCaw chipped in a fourth-quarter deuce as the ’Cats managed to prevent a 30-19 halftime advantage from crumbling.
Miner senior guard South Livermore drained four three-pointers and totaled 20 points in defeat, while junior Tony Ordonez netted three threes – all during the third quarter, when THS (which totaled eight triples) outscored Ignacio 17 to 11 – and totaled 17 points, and sophomore Townes Merritt booked six.
As far as how the Bobcats might maintain their rate of success into the playoffs, Tucson recently commented:
“Just be the ‘underdogs’ and upset everyone.”
“We’ve got … six or seven different guys we can run,” added head coach Chris Valdez. “That’s something we’re seeing – our JVs starting to develop a little – and now we’re able to use those kids if we get into a situation.”