Fri Mar 20th, 2015
Special to the Drum
Tags: 2A-Region III Tournament, Alejandra Lujan, Amya Bison, Avionne Gomez, chrystianne valdez, Cortney Baker, CSU-Pueblo’s Massari Arena, ellie seibel, Hilda Garcia, Ignacio, joel priest, lady bobcats, Meeker, MHS, Norwood, Shane Seibel, sky cotton, SunUte Community Center, Sydney Hughes
Asked earlier in the season about key improvements upon the previous year that he’d seen in his Lady Bobcats, following a win inside his team’s temporary SunUte Community Center home, Shane Seibel replied:
“What I know is they’re willing to play so hard for each other. They will not get on each other; they will challenge each other but they will also just encourage. And play, play hard!”
Unfortunately the Ignacio girls finally met an equal in that regard, which ended their spectacular winter.
Forward Hilda Garcia registered 15 points in what would be the last game of an outstanding freshman campaign, and junior forward Ellie Seibel scored nine, but behind senior Sydney Hughes’ 21-point, eight-rebound, seven-assist performance Meeker prevailed 63-47 in the 2A-Region III Tournament semifinals on Friday, March 6.
In strong, needed support of MHS’ marquee attraction (12 of Hughes’ points came from 14 free-throw attempts), sophomore Reese Pertile netted 15 points and grabbed 12 boards, and classmate Hallie Ahrens chipped in 11 points as the Western Slope League representatives forced those from the San Juan Basin League to attempt a climb out of a 19-point halftime hole.
The Lady Cats also got nine points from sophomore forward/center Alejandra Lujan, five from freshman guard Avionne Gomez, four from junior guard Chrystianne Valdez and three from junior guard Cortney Baker.
After going 8-14 overall during Seibel’s first season in charge, IHS finished 17-5 in 2014-15 but will unfortunately lose fiery point guard Sky Cotton and reserve low-post player Amya Bison to graduation.
“Sky had an amazing year with all the obstacles she overcame her growth was pretty cool to see,” Seibel said via e-mail. Fighting through foul trouble Cotton finished with two points, five rebounds and four assists.
“Amya was most improved, very coachable, and provided a great attitude in practice everyday,” he continued, noting that Bison did not attend the game due to a knee injury suffered during practice the week of IHS’ upset of defending Class 1A State Champions Norwood.
Hughes also would end her weekend in Grand Junction denied – along with her teammates – one last trip to Pueblo to show her skills before fans inside CSU-Pueblo’s Massari Arena.
Finishing 17-6, Meeker took a 60-34 smacking from Cedaredge in the next day’s Region III finale, denying them a return to the 2A State Championships, as the Lady Bruins entered the season-ending weekend 21-2 overall.