Thu Mar 10th, 2022
Special to the Drum
Having surfaced above .500 just twice during the 2021-22 season, with both instances occurring during the preceding two weeks, the Ignacio Lady Bobcats ultimately broke even for the campaign as they fell 47-38 at Peyton in the Class 2A-Region VIII semifinals Friday, March 4.
Seeded 25th in the State Tournament’s opening Round-of-32, IHS (11-11 overall) trailed the regional-hosting No. 8 Lady Panthers by just two points, 13-11, through one quarter and went into halftime still very much in contention, down 19-13. Protecting their court effectively, PHS widened the gap to 37-25 through three quarters and managed to hang on down the home stretch despite the guests winning the fourth quarter 13-10.
Junior Harmony Reynolds led Ignacio with 16 points and classmate Laci Brunson scored 12. Senior Avaleena Nanaeto contributed eight (including seven free throws in nine tries), senior Elisia Cruz one and sophomore Darlyn Mendoza-Lechuga one. Reynolds’ ten rebounds gave her a double-double, while Brunson logged four rebounds and six assists.
Despite finishing with four personal fouls, sophomore Abbie Nickell led the victors with 17 points and classmate A.J. Mannering booked 16 points, seven boards and six assists. Junior Shaylee Gee finished with seven points and as many rebounds, and senior Tara Graham netted six points as Peyton advanced to face Julesburg-based 9-seed Sedgwick County – which eliminated No. 24 Monte Vista 51-30 in the later semi – the next afternoon.
And the Lady Cougars would meet the same fate as Ignacio against the Black Forest League champs, who pulled out a 36-34 win – Peyton’s 16th consecutive conquest since a Dec. 17 loss to Sanford at Fowler’s Christmas Classic (PHS would defeat FHS to save third place at the event, while 3A Colorado Springs Christian’s 42-38 win over Sanford in the finale is, to date, SHS’ only setback this season) – behind 15 points from Mannering and ten from Nickell.
Bound next for Loveland, the Budweiser Events Center and the Great Eight phase beginning Thurs., March 10, the Lady Panthers ended the regional having improved to 18-5 overall, while SC finished up 15-7 and MVHS 13-10.