Playing perhaps their best game of the season, the Ignacio Bobcats won the consolation title in the annual Rumble in the Jungle basketball tournament in Aztec on Saturday night.
The Bobcats, ranked No. 5 in the Colorados Class 2A by The Denver Post this week, powered past Shiprock 70-43 in the consolation final.
We played fantastic, Ignacio head coach Chris Valdez said. Its been a long time since weve had a team that played that well together. Everything just clicked.
Valdez said the Bobcats handled the pesky Shiprock press with no problems.
We handled their press early ... we ended up beating them with 3-on-2 or 2-on-1 breaks, he said after the Ignacio boys improved to 7-2.
I was surprised we played so well against their press, Valdez said.
Senior Ryan Brooks led the way with another double-double for the Bobcats. He led all scorers with 23 points, and he led all rebounders with 14.
The 6-6 Brooks also had seven blocks.
Chunk (Brooks) did a great job, said Valdez, using Brooks popular nickname.
Pedro Vigil, also a senior, handled the ball and broke the Shiprock press. He finished with 13 points and 10 assists for another double-double. Vigil also had four steals.
Pedro, who has been sick, played a fantastic game, Valdez said.
Shane Richmond added 12 points and six rebounds for Ignacio.
Valdez said he was pleased with the Bobcats foul shooting after they converted 17 of 19 free throws against Shiprock.
Orion Watts came off the bench, and he scored eight points, Valdez said.
Xavier Watts also had a strong floor game off the bench.
This builds a little confidence. It was like a state (playoff) atmosphere, said Valdez, who coached the Bobcats to second-place and fourth-place finishes at state the last two seasons.
We really played with a lot of focus, he said.
IHS will play a nonleague game at Pagosa Springs at 7 p.m. Tuesday. Unbeaten Pagosa Springs (7-0), coming off a victory over Class 4A Durango earlier this week, is ranked No. 4 this week in the Class 3A poll by The Denver Post.
The Bobcats will open San Juan League play at home against Norwood on Friday night.