By all accounts, the Ignacio High School boys basketball team stole a road victory Saturday evening with a 57-53 win over Telluride at Telluride High School.
The Bobcats (6-7, 4-2 2A/1A San Juan Basin League) knew the Miners’ defense was complex and demanded a constant eye for in-game situations.
“I talked with Brady (McCaw) the whole week about their defense, and then, boom – he had to leave the second play of the game,” said IHS head coach Chris Valdez. “But the other guys stepped up in a big way on offense, and we pulled this one out; we really got contributions from everybody.”
Telluride (7-4, 3-2 SJBL) showed a mix of a stretch 2-3 zone defense into a 1-3-1 trap, and following a missed basket on offense, would go man-to-man. With the complex defense, Valdez relied on sophomore guard McCaw in order to figure out a way to score. But McCaw was hurt on the second play of the game after he was accidentally kicked in the ribs, and had to leave the game.
Triston Thompson stepped up and scored 16 points, while Bryce Finn scored a team-high 19 in the win.
“I thought Triston had his most complete game for us,” Valdez said. “Usually, he tapers off and tires out, but this was a full game from him, and he was everywhere on defense for us, as well as distributing and just being a poised point guard.”
The Bobcats were down six at half, 27-21 and also had a 2-point deficit heading into the fourth quarter, down 42-40. In the fourth, Ignacio scored 18 points, which included two 3-pointers from Finn. Ignacio led by 3, 56-53 with 25 seconds remaining, and the Miners had one last chance to tie it up. Telluride came down the floor, missed a 3-pointer, and an offensive rebound rattled out, and Ocean Hunter skied high and grabbed the game-clinching rebound. He made 1-of-2 from the free-throw line to put the game out of reach.
“Telluride was lengthy, dynamic and fast, and for Ocean to pull in that rebound there with all those bodies crashing the boards, that said a lot,” Valdez said. “We needed somebody to step up and get that rebound, and Ocean did. He only had six points, but was huge for us on the glass, and had 12 rebounds.”
Telluride was led by Ian Enkema, who finished with 15 points, while Robert Conney had 14.
Ignacio will not play again until it will host Ridgway at 4 p.m. Feb. 1.
“We’ve been trying to crawl back, and we’re knocking on .500’s door,” Valdez said. “We’re so young, and the fight we’ve shown in league has been great. In the meantime, we’ll look to rest a bit, get better and scout to see who we’ve got down the road. Tonight was huge for us.”
Girls basketballIgnacio 54, Telluride 26The Ignacio High School girls basketball team put together its sixth 50-point total of the season as the Bobcats remained undefeated in San Juan Basin League action Saturday afternoon with a 54-26 win against Telluride at Telluride High School.
While individual statistics were not made available, head coach Justa Whitt took a lot away from her team’s performance.
“We played much better as a whole today,” Whitt said. “Larissa Gallegos had a great comeback today, after two injuries have sidelined her for many weeks of the season. While she didn’t score too much, it was a good confidence booster for her and our team.”
Whitt also gave a shoutout to freshman Avaleena Nanaeto, who “was all over the floor and scored several (baskets) for us.”
The Bobcats (8-4, 7-0 2A/1A San Juan Basin League) are inching toward a showdown with Del Norte in two weeks, but have three conference games before it.
“Now to keep pushing forward through the next two weeks to prepare for Del Norte,” Whitt said. “That will be a big game for us to see where we are at.”
Ignacio will take on Nucla at 2 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 26 at Nucla High School.