LOVELAND – The Ignacio High School girls basketball team had a chance to redeem last season’s quarterfinal loss to Yuma with another Great 8 matchup with the Indians. But history repeated itself Thursday, as the Bobcats fell to the Indians 39-29 at the Budweiser Events Center in Loveland.
“Them being the No. 1 team in the state and us being No. 8, we gave them the closest margin of victory all season long,” Ignacio head coach Trae Seibel said. “Coach (Bob Rahm) came up to me after the game and said, ‘You’re the toughest team we’ve seen all season long.’”
The Bobcats weren’t intimidated by the Indians and matched them through the first quarter.
Senior Allisianna Baker-Marquez came off the bench for four quick points to help Ignacio to an 8-8 tie after the opening quarter.
“We remembered them very well,” Ignacio junior Kiana Valdez said of Yuma. “Our game plan was to come out really strong and scare them a little bit – not hurt them or anything. But we felt they were overlooking us a little bit and we were going to come out really, really strong.”
The Bobcats (21-3) kept with Yuma (25-0) for most of the second quarter, but Yuma’s Cody Robinson sank a 3-pointer late in the second to give the Indians a 17-12 halftime lead.
Robinson carried Yuma in the first half and scored 12 of the team’s 17 first-half points.
“I realized we needed to get going and get to playing, and I knew if I got going, the rest of the team would,” Robinson said of the first half. “I just needed to step up.”
The game got away from the Bobcats in the third quarter. Yuma connected on three 3-pointers in the quarter, including one from Avery Whitehead from about five feet behind the 3-point line to beat the horn at the end of the quarter.
While Yuma heated up from the field, Ignacio went cold and scored only five points in the third and trailed 33-17 at the start of the fourth.
“We just missed some shots in defining moments that would have put us right with them in the third quarter,” Seibel said. “It kind of got away from us in the third quarter. We just missed some shots and had some defensive possession where we didn’t do so well.”
In the fourth quarter, the Bobcats pushed back but never got the deficit to single digits.
Only five players scored for Yuma. Robinson led the way with 19 points, Whitehead finished with seven, Chasey Blach had six, Kyle Rayl added four points and Kenedy Roth chipped in three points.
Avionne Gomez led Ignacio with 10 points, Valdez finished with five points and Baker-Marquez had four points.
Ignacio will face the loser of No. 4 Holyoke (18-6) and No. 5 Limon (22-1) in the consolation bracket at 8:45 a.m. Friday at the Budweiser Events Center, while Yuma will try to erase the sting of last season’s semifinal loss when they meet the winner of the Holyoke-Limon game in the semifinals at 4 p.m. at the Budweiser Events Center.