The road to Durango goes through ... Dove Creek?
It does if you're reading a map to the Class 2A Regional Basketball Championships.
The Ignacio Bobcats are headed to Dove Creek today for the two-day San Juan Basin District Tournament. The tournament winners, girls and boys, advance to the regionals March 6-7 at Durango High School.
But first things first, teams must win today's tournament semifinal games to qualify for the Class 2A regional playoffs.
Two of the four San Juan Basin League teams will move on to regionals, with the tournament winner assigned to Durango and the tournament runner-up (girls and boys) headed to Adams State College in Alamosa.
"We've got to win the first game to get to regionals," Ignacio boys head coach Chris Valdez said. "Then, we can let Saturday take care of itself."
He said the Bobcats, 18-1 and ranked among the state's top 10 teams in several statewide 2A polls, are focusing on today's game against the Mancos boys (4:30 p.m.).
Then, he said, there might be the opportunity to play rival Telluride for the tournament title.
"It's a chance to play a little closer to home," Valdez said of the regional site at DHS. "That's our ultimate goal. But we have to get there (to the championship game) first."
Telluride, 17-2, will take on the Dolores boys in the other semifinal game at 7:30 p.m. today.
The winners meet at 2:30 p.m. Saturday in Dove Creek for the boys tournament championship and the right to play at Durango next weekend.
The Ignacio and Telluride boys have played twice this season, with the Miners winning by one point on the Bobcats' court and the Bobcats winning by one point on the Miners' home court.
Today's girls semifinals in the San Juan Basin District Tournament feature No. 2 seed Dolores against No. 3 seed Ignacio at 3 p.m. today in Dove Creek.
The Ignacio girls, 4-11, surged at the end of the season, winning four of their last six games.
The Dolores girls basketball team is 10-8 (unofficially).
Top seed Mancos will play the Telluride girls at 6 p.m. today in the other girls semifinal.
The girls championship will be at 1 p.m. Saturday at Dove Creek.
The boys championship will follow the girls game.
Valdez said the Ignacio boys hope to continue their trend of improved 3-point shooting today against Mancos.
"Our 3-point shooting was dismal (early). But the last three or four games it has been a little better," Valdez said.
"And we're still playing hard defense. Offensively, we're executing. And we have the experience now."
He said the Bobcats need to capitalize on their experience and their teamwork as the postseason begins.
"We're looking forward to it," Valdez said.