Ignacio girls wear the SJBL crown

Herald Staff Report

Ignacio won its first game of the regular season, then won its first game of the San Juan Basin League season, too.

Thirteen regular-season victories, eight conference victories, an SJBL regular-season championship and a trio of SJBL Tournament wins later, and the Ignacio Bobcats’ girls basketball team are district champions, too.

“I know it’s been over 20 years since we’ve won a league title, which we wrapped up last week,” Ignacio head coach Justa Whitt said. “So, I think it’s been at least that long since we’ve won districts.”

Ignacio, which beat Ridgway by 10 on Friday night, beat Telluride 53-33 in the SJBL Tournament championship game Saturday afternoon in Cortez.

Unlike their game against Ridgway, however, “We came out blazing,” Whitt said Saturday. “We came out ready to go.”

Cloe Seibel and Sky Cotton “got us on a roll right off the bat.”

Ignacio led 19-5 after the first quarter and 29-5 at the half.

“Our defense was unstoppable,” Whitt said.

In her first season as head coach, Whitt has led IHS to a 14-7 record (9-1 SJBL), a league title and a district title. Ignacio, alongside the Bobcats’ perennially successful boys program, will host regionals next weekend at Durango High School. Details of the tournament will be released today.

“I can’t take all the credit,” said Whitt, an assistant coach the last three years under Brice Searles. “Coach Searles did a great job preparing these girls, especially defensively.”

And that’s precisely where the Bobcats hung their district caps Saturday in Cortez.

Seibel led IHS with 18 points, and Cotton scored 13.

Michelle Simmons “didn’t have the great statline, but she’s such a great all-around leader,” Whitt said. Simmons had five points, nine assists and 10 rebounds in the Bobcats’ 20-point victory.

heraldsports@durangoherald.com

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