Bobcats riding win streak into postseason

Ignacio’s Gabe Cox (21) follows through on a block of 2A Del Norte’s Tyler Gallegos (1) during non-league action Tues., Feb. 15, at DNHS. Cox swatted away multiple Tiger shots and also logged six points offensively in the Bobcats’ 41-25 road win.
Ignacio’s Devante Montoya (11) launches – and makes a fourth-quarter three-pointer over Ridgway’s Cooper Ahern (12) during the varsities’ first of two games Sat., Feb. 12, inside IHS Gymnasium. The Bobcats swept the Demons 45-36 and 52-38.
Ignacio’s Gabe Tucson (3) outleaps 2A Del Norte’s Ben Parra (30) to try receiving a pass near the baseline during non-league action Tues., Feb. 15, at DNHS. Tucson booked 13 points in the Bobcats’ 41-25 road win; Parra was held to 11 in defeat.
Ignacio's Gabe Tucson (3) drives around 2A Del Norte's Brennan Velasquez during non-league action Tues., Feb. 15, at DNHS. Tucson booked 13 points in the Bobcats' 41-25 road win.
Joel Priest | Special to the Drum
Joel Priest | Special to the Drum
Joel Priest | Special to the Drum
Joel Priest | 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.”

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