Fri Dec 13th, 2013
Special to the Drum
Tags: Adison Jones, Bloomfield, Bobcats, Bronco Arena, Christian Mackey, clayton jefferson, Devon Manning, Hiram Gleason, Ignacio, kelton richmond, Kirtland Central, Las Cruces, Mesilla Valley Christian, Miners, Montezuma Creek, N.M., san juan basin league, Silverton, Whitehorse’s Raiders, wyatt hayes
Bloomfield, N.M., head coach Devon Manning urged his team to “shoot with confidence” during an unwanted timeout quite early in their Webb Toyota/Kirtland (N.M.) Central Basin Invitational opener.
In his own mind, however, that command likely had a suffix attached: “…like that Adison Jones!”
Ignacio’s junior power forward/center had already scored six of Ignacio’s 10 points – achieved in only 2:49 worth of action – then cashed a three-pointer after Manning’s attempted interruption, then dashed away Bloomfield’s try for a long buzzer-beater ending the quarter, then opened the second with a perfect 15-footer from the wing to give his team an authoritative 18-6 advantage.
Still thinking they’d be challenging the Colorado 2A force on Day 2 the following afternoon, 1A Montezuma Creek (Utah) Whitehorse’s Raiders, watching from the stands, had to be thinking the same as everyone else observing the Bobcats’ outbreak: This is their first game of the season?
A lengthy second-quarter lull indicated that, yes, Ignacio had not yet faced outside competition yet in 2013, but a 24-point third quarter – rebuilding the lead from 20-14 at the half to 44-27 entering the fourth quarter – told the throng inside Bronco Arena all they’d need to know.
Led by double-figure scoring from Jones (11 points), Clayton Jefferson (11), sophomore Wyatt Hayes (14) and senior Kelton Richmond (14), nine Cats contributed points in the 62-37 rout on Day 1, and Ignacio’s winning ways continued with a 53-47 win over Shiprock, N.M., rather than WHS on Day 2, then a thrilling 57-52 defeat of the hosting Class 4A team for an outstanding 3-0 start to the new season.
Shiprock (2-2), Class 3A State semifinalists ending ’12-13 and always dangerous after a loss, had lost by a bucket on Day 1 to Las Cruces, N.M., Mesilla Valley Christian (3-1; Class 2A State semifinalists last season), putting extra pressure on Ignacio to maximize as many possessions as possible. No reminders were needed for the Saturday night showdown against Christian Mackey-led Kirtland Central (3-1).
Whitehorse, after being re-paired against and losing by 23 to Bloomfield on Day 2, fell 71-30 to Shiprock in the consolation game on Day 3 (Saturday, Dec. 7) and sank to 0-3 overall. Mesilla Valley had little difficulty with Bloomfield’s Bobcats in the third-place game, rolling 63-43.
Taking some of the sting out of Chieftain Hiram Gleason’s game-best 19 points, Jefferson netted three of Ignacio’s eight triples against Shiprock, en route to a team-leading 13. Mackey – the only Bronco scoring 10 or more – was the high enemy in the finale with 21 points.
Next on the Bobcats’ plate was their 2A/1A San Juan Basin League opener, Thursday, Dec. 12 at Telluride, but it was completed after the Drum went to print. A trip to non-league 2A Sargent was to follow on Saturday, Dec. 14, with a jaunt down to Bloomfield beyond that on Monday, Dec. 16.
UNUSUAL: A unique addition to Ignacio’s schedule (at least at the time of this writing), though neither at the varsity nor even the JV level, is a C-team contest at home on Friday, Dec. 13 versus Silverton. The Miners, truly an unknown entity, have not even a mention on the Silverton Public Schools website.
But a schedule – showing prior games against the JVs of SJBL squads Ouray, Dolores and Mancos – has been posted online at maxpreps.com.