Seniors star in win over IML rivals
Scoreless during a frustrating final three minutes, 33 seconds of the second quarter, and still searching for points beginning the third as visiting Bayfield steadily climbed out of a 15-6 hole, Ignacio turned to a senior to ensure Senior Day success.
Whereas senior guard Laci Brunson’s corner three-pointer had put the Lady Bobcats up by nine points approaching halftime, senior forward/center Harmony Reynolds converted a key three-point play after BHS had crept as close as 15-12. Reynolds’ and-one triggered a game-altering 10-0 run – highlighted by a Darlyn Mendoza-Lechuga trey and capped by a Reynolds breakaway layup – effectively putting IHS in the clear.
Junior reserve Maci Barnes buried a three late in the third, helping increase Ignacio’s rebuilt advantage to 29-16 entering the fourth quarter, when sophomore Marissa Olguin promptly sank IHS’ fourth and last triple. Sitting on a comfortable 32-16 cushion, the Lady ’Cats got five more Reynolds points and four more from Olguin down the stretch, during which head coach Trae Seibel was able to get senior reserves Autumn Sage and Alexis Ortiz court time in what ended up being a 44-21 victory.
After making one of two free throws, Ortiz took a long pass from Brunson and dropped in a breakaway layup for what ended up being the 3A/4A Intermountain League contest’s final points.
Rebounding from the previous evening’s nail-biting 32-29 home loss to 4A IMLers Pagosa Springs, the Lady ’Cats improved to 8-7 overall, 2-5 in league play. Reynolds ended up with 14 points, equaling her game-high 14 against the Lady Pirates, and Brunson and Olguin each totaled eight against Bayfield (3-12, 0-8 IML).
Mendoza-Lechuga finished with four points, Barnes and Ortiz each booked three, junior Solymar Cosio two (while limited by four personal fouls) and sophomore reserve DaLaney Wesner two. Brunson went 3-of-4 from the foul line and Reynolds 2-of-3 as Ignacio finished 8-of-13 as a team.
Sophomore Renae Foutz managed ten points for the Lady Wolverines (9-25 FT; 0 3-PTR) in defeat, and junior Genesis Barrera chipped in four after logging a team-best six in a 71-8 loss at Centauri the previous evening. Seniors Alaysia Kremer and Abria Thayer were held to a combined four points, junior Michelle Kirk to two and junior Madison Mead one.
The Lady ’Cats will continue league play hosting Montezuma-Cortez Friday evening, February 10, then welcome No. 3-ranked [CHSAANow.com Class 3A poll, 2/6] CHS the following afternoon. Results from Ignacio’s trip on the 7th to non-league Dove Creek – standing 12-2 overall and No. 7 in Class 1A at the time – were unavailable at press time, as were those from M-CHS’ 2/8 home game versus DCHS.