Ignacio girls accelerate into the playoffs

Ignacio’s Avaleena Nanaeto (35) speeds around 3A Montezuma-Cortez’s Taiah Wilson (32) on a drive into the paint during non-league action Wed., Feb. 16, at M-CHS. Coming off a 17-point performance in the previous night’s road win at non-league 2A Del Norte, Nanaeto netted 11 points but the Lady Bobcats fell 66-64 in overtime.
Ignacio's Darlyn Mendoza-Lechuga (12) plants an elbow into the grille of 2A Del Norte's Kayleigh Haynie (21) on a hard drive to the hoop during non-league action Tues., Feb. 15, at DNHS. The Lady Bobcats won 38-34, with Mendoza-Lechuga contributing seven points and senior Avaleena Nanaeto leading with 17.
Ignacio’s Marissa Olguin (3) works to drive past 2A Del Norte’s Kelci Madrid during non-league action Tues., Feb. 15, at DNHS. The Lady Bobcats won 38-34, with Mendoza-Lechuga contributing seven points and senior Avaleena Nanaeto leading with 17 (Madrid tallied a game-high 22 in defeat).
Ignacio’s Harmony Reynolds (34) puts up a difficult shot against 3A Montezuma-Cortez’s Markylla Jones (30) during non-league action Wed., Feb. 16, at M-CHS. Reynolds would score 23 points, leading all players, but the Lady Bobcats fell 66-64 in overtime.
Joel Priest | Special to the Drum
Joel Priest | Special to the Drum
Joel Priest | Special to the Drum
Joel Priest | Special to the Drum

Lady ’Cats avoid late-season SJBL stumbles

Closing out the 2021-22 regular season as viciously as expected, Ignacio’s Lady Bobcats sprinted out to a 20-4 lead Saturday, Feb. 19, on visiting Dolores and were hardly challenged the rest of the way in saluting seniors Avaleena Nanaeto, Elisia Cruz and long-injured Monika Lucero with a 54-18 conquest.

After logging a reported 61-13 win at Telluride (one of the Lady Miners’ first-quarter points, however, couldn’t be accounted for; THS’ official scorebook claimed seven points with only six recorded) the previous evening, IHS’ home win over the Lady Bears brought the team back to 9-9 overall, but a first-place 5-1 against the 2A/1A San Juan Basin League’s 2A squads.

Preparing to begin postseason play standing 13-6 overall, Mancos’ 55-13 home hammering of DHS the night before the Lady Bears visited IHS Gymnasium improved the Lady Jays’ 2A SJBL mark to 5-1, but Ignacio owns a plus-11 head-to-head point differential in the sides’ two-game season split.

Dolores dropped to 5-13 overall (2-4 2A SJBL), and learned not long after their unlucky, initial postseason stop:

Ignacio, on Tues., Feb. 22, as part of the 2A-District 3 Tournament’s play-in ‘pigtail’ phase. 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 DHS-IHS winner will play then at 3 p.m. against top-seeded WSLers Cedaredge (16-3 overall).

Third-place action will commence Sat., Feb. 26, at 10 a.m., with the championship slated for 1 p.m.

Individual figures from Ignacio’s win over Dolores were unavailable at press time, but junior Laci Brunson was credited with three three-pointers and 13 total points inside THS’ MinerDome. Nanaeto totaled six points and was 4-of-4 at the free-throw line, and junior Harmony Reynolds also finished with a conservative six points. Freshman Marissa Olguin, who’d torched Telluride for 40 points in the teams’ previous meeting, sank one triple and also went 4-of-4 at the charity stripe for a mellow seven points.

Of course, IHS began about as fast as the Lady Miners (0-17) would have feared by sinking five triples, tallying 21 first-quarter points, and building an insurmountable double-digit lead. Sophomore Darlyn Mendoza-Lechuga contributed 11 points, while freshman JV/V ‘swing’ player Dalaney Wesner booked 10 (4-6 FT), Cruz five and sophomore Solymar Cosio four.

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