IHS saves split of slate’s first four
Wrapping up the Centauri-hosted Mountain Top Classic with authority, the Ignacio Bobcats showed something of the ‘Ignacio’ always expected by friend and foe, and finished with two wins in three tries at the event with a 91-20 demolition of Hayden last Saturday, Dec. 6.
Senior Adison Jones led the way with 19 points, junior Nick Herrera was right behind with 18, and the low-post pair combined for 15-of-21 accuracy from the floor. Junior guard Tucker Ward was 4-for-6 from three-point land and finished with 14 points, while senior reserve guard Xavier Reynolds – already with a solid outing on day one against CHS to his credit – dropped another 13.
His 3-for-4 from downtown helped IHS finish 12-for-28, a 43 percent pace that the 2A Tigers – led by senior Juan Valdez’s eight points – simply couldn’t match in making just two of 14.
Having fallen 50-39 at 3A Pagosa Springs on Tuesday, Dec. 2 to begin the 2014-15 basketball season, the Cats made amends barely 41 hours later at the MTC, held in Alamosa inside Adams State University’s Plachy Hall, by clipping the host Falcons 57-42.
Held to just five points by the Pirates, junior guard Wyatt Hayes led the way against Centauri with 17. Freshman guard Kruz Pardo chipped in ten off the bench, Jones had nine and Herrera four as CHS lacked injured inside presence Mitchell Wilson.
Day two of the Classic saw the Cats square off against Glenwood Springs – unranked in the preseason [released Nov. 24] CHSAANow.com Class 4A poll – but coming off a 15-8 season ending in the State Tournament. And both sides started aggressively, with the Demons separating late for a slim 14-10 lead after the first quarter.
The advantage grew in the second, but behind five Jones points and a three-ball by junior guard Anthony Manzanares, Ignacio rallied to shrink the deficit at halftime to just a digit, 21-20.
And the comeback continued after the intermission; a Ward lay-in gave IHS a 24-23 lead, and a Hayes three re-gained it at 27-25 before GSHS junior guard Cameron Horning’s seven points in the frame put the Demons up 30-27 going into the fourth.
A Horning drive with 3:15 remaining built Glenwood’s lead up to 42-34, but the Bobcats (now 2-2 overall) hung tough, and picked up an extra boost when Reynolds drew Horning’s fifth foul while converting a layup with 1:35 left, bringing Ignacio back to 43-39.
But despite applying proper pressure defensively, IHS was unable to find any offensive luck and GSHS junior guard Mason Yellico iced the game with three free throws making for a 46-39 final.
Horning led the Demons – who then held off Centauri on Day 3 to finish the MTC a first-place 3-and-0 – with a game-high 15 points, senior Zack Peterson contributed an even dozen and Yellico finished with nine, including 5-of-6 from the stripe in the fourth quarter.
Jones and Manzanares each totaled nine points for the Cats (Class 2A’s No. 2 in the preseason rankings) with Hayes netting eight, Herrera seven and Ward four.
Up next, the Cats were to host 2A Center at SunUte Community Center in non-league action on the Dec. 12, but results were unavailable by press time. IHS’ last scheduled contest in 2014 is their 2A/1A San Juan Basin League opener on the Thursday, Dec. 18 at home against Dolores.