An ice bag draped over the neck and shoulders of one of his players would be something Steve Hill wouldn’t want to see on a sparse Ridgway bench.
Especially when the enemy was already without two crucial components, leaving them more vulnerable to the type of an upset the Lady Demons nearly sprung in Norwood a week earlier when the still-undefeated Lady Mavericks were ranked among Class 1A’s top three.
But despite the absences of senior forwards Pam Cotton and Mariah Vigil on Saturday, Jan. 19, the Ignacio Lady Bobcats served swift notice to RHS that they still had plenty of power in the low post, with senior Valerie Armstrong crashing inside for a quick six first-quarter points.
And despite some shaky shooting at the charity stripe early by both sides — RHS 3-of-12, IHS 5-of-13, including sophomore Sky Cotton’s uncharacteristic 2-of-8 — Ignacio still led by nine (15-6) after eight minutes and ten (25-15) through 16 inside IHS Gymnasium, en route to a 42-28 victory.
The Lady Cats improved to 5-5 overall, and 2-0 in the 2A/1A San Juan Basin League, prior to a non-league battle at home against 3A Pagosa Springs on Tuesday, Jan. 22. Visiting IHS with only six players available after having crushed Mancos the night before, Ridgway dropped to 3-6 (1-4 SJBL).
Opportunity, though brief, arose for the Lady Demons before halftime. Freshman Haley Crozier sank one of two free throws to cut IHS’ lead to 18-9 with 5:56 left in the second, when RHS became double-bonus beneficiaries for any further Ignacio fouls.
But Sky Cotton swished a three from straight away with 5:02 left, and added three more points to help offset, in advance, four from Ridgway’s Grace Benasutti and lone reserve Marcina Sarmiento’s two.
Five-foot-11 sophomore Rane Dickerson, the Lady Demons’ truest option in the paint, managed zero before the break, and RHS managed zero in the quarter following as Ignacio’s lead hit 35-15 after three.
Cotton led the Lady Cats with 12 points (but 4-10 FT), Armstrong and senior Michelle Simmons each finished with nine, and junior Cloe Seibel netted eight. Junior Gabriela Garcia and freshman Chrystianne Valdez each dropped in a basket as well to close the team’s scorebook.
Simmons also collected nine rebounds and five steals in a near-triple-double effort, and Seibel snared five boards with two swipes.
Ridgway’s totals weren’t reported before the Drum went to print.
After a test from Dove Creek on Friday, Jan. 25, Ignacio hosts non-league Sargent the next afternoon. Dove Creek stood 4-5 overall (1-3 SJBL) prior to playing 2A Grand County of Moab, Utah, on Tuesday, Jan. 22. Pagosa Springs’ Lady Pirates came to IHS standing a more imposing 8-2 overall (0-1 3A Intermountain).