The Durango High School girls basketball team had to wait a week longer than it hoped for its league opener. It was worth the wait.
Fruita Monument (15-2, 1-1 5A/4A Southwestern League) paid the DHS girls a visit Friday night a week after the Demons’ game against Montrose was postponed by winter weather. DHS (9-6, 1-0 SWL) turned in a dominant second-half effort to secure a 41-26 victory and stun the Class 5A eighth-ranked Wildcats.
“They were anxious to play at home since that was only our second home game,” DHS head coach Tim Fitzpatrick said.
DHS took a 7-4 lead after one quarter and made it 13-9 at halftime. The Demons would outscore the Wildcats 10-6 in the third and 18-11 in the fourth to run away with the game.
Maddy McManus led DHS with 12 points. Mason Rowland added 10, and Sydney Flores finished with seven. DHS dominated in the paint.
“The play of the kids was impressive,” Fitzpatrick said. “We knew we were capable of that.”
DHS will try to bring the same energy to the court at noon Saturday in another league game with Grand Junction (5-9, 0-1 SWL).
Ignacio 49, Ridgway 20Powered by a 16-1 advantage in the second quarter, the Ignacio girls basketball team blew past the Ridgway Demons 49-20 at home Friday night.
Charlize Valdez poured in 13 points for IHS (6-5, 4-0 2A/1A San Juan Basin League). Makayla Howell added 11 points, while Ebonee Gomez had six.
“That’s what I was hoping would happen,” IHS head coach Justa Whitt said of her team’s second quarter. “We certainly did come out just flat, but I think there were quite a few factors for that. Yesterday, we couldn’t have practice because of the flooded aux gym, and that’s not normal, to at least have a run-through the day before and get some shots up, you know? So, it was a little weird today because our practice before that was Wednesday morning, and we had more of a conditioning and shooting practice. We never did get to go over stuff that I wanted to go over, so I think that probably affected us.”
The Bobcats raced to a 14-8 lead after one quarter, but the dominant defensive effort in the second quarter made it 30-9 by halftime.
Ridgway (3-4, 2-1 SJBL) got nine points from Anza Connaughton.
IHS will be at home again at 2 p.m. Saturday against Telluride (4-5, 30 SJBL).
Centauri 43, Bayfield 32Despite another spirited effort from the Bayfield High School girls basketball team, it wasn’t enough for the Wolverines on the road Friday night in La Jara.
Fourth-ranked Centauri (11-1, 2-1 3A Intermountain League) secured a 43-32 victory after BHS was as close as 31-26 in the fourth quarter after it trailed 29-20 after three quarters.
BHS (3-6, 0-3 IML) actually held a 14-13 lead at halftime thanks to stellar defensive play. That came after Centauri had opened the game on a 7-0 run in the first quarter.
Individual statistics were not available at press time Friday.
The Wolverines will stay on the road Saturday to face Monte Vista at 5:30 p.m.
Boys BasketballIgnacio 62, Ridgway 51The Bobcats raced out to a 21-4 lead after one quarter, but the Ridgway Demons were not prepared to go down without a fight Friday night in Ignacio.
Ridgway and Ignacio played even in the second and third quarters, and Ridgway beat Ignacio 18-11 in the fourth. But the big first-quarter advantage Ignacio (9-1, 5-0 SJBL) built was enough for the home team to win 62-51.
Triston Thompson led IHS with 17 points. Gabe Tucson and Brady McCaw each scored 14. Dylan Labarthe added six.
“You know, it’s becoming second nature to us that we get a big lead and then give it up,” IHS head coach Chris Valdez said. “And that’s not something we want to be proud of. So, we’ve got to make some changes defensively. It has nothing to do with offense; we can score every now and then. Our defense, we’re giving up points to their best players, and those are the players we should be focusing on. So from here on out, we’re going to work on stopping people’s best players, stopping screen-and-rolls and things like that.
“I’m still proud of the kids; they still pulled a win off. Doesn’t matter how many points you win by, as long as you win. And it’s better to have games like this right now so that down the stretch we’ll have some experience with close games.”
Ridgway (5-6, 2-2 SJBL) was led by 13 points from Jamling Sherpa. Robert Beserra and Kaden Forrest each had 12 points, and Blake Rutherford scored 10.
No. 7 IHS will stay at home to face Telluride (4-7, 2-1 SJBL) at 5 p.m. Saturday.
Fruita Monument 77, Durango 33The Demons got in an early hole, and it only got worse Friday night.
Fruita Monument laid the hammer down on the Durango boys basketball team in the Demons’ league opener. The Wildcats (11-5, 2-0 SWL) raced out to a 25-9 lead in the first quarter and made it 51-19 by halftime.
DHS couldn’t stop Fruita’s leading scorer Marcus Labonde. He had 35 points, which was 15 more than his season average.
“Transition defense was the scouting report. And rebounding,” DHS head coach Alan Batiste said. “We lost in both. We knew the Labonde kid makes the train go, and we did not stop him early in transition like we planned.”
Anthony Flint and Jordan Woolverton led DHS with eight points each.
DHS (8-7, 0-1 SWL) will look to get its first league win at 2 p.m. Saturday at home against Grand Junction (1-13, 0-1 SWL).
“Their defense had us on our heels, and we were one pass, shot,” Batiste said. “We have to be better than that when you get to league. We will get ready for tomorrow. Congrats to our girls team for their win.”
Centauri 65, Bayfield 46The Wolverines avoided a really bad quarter, but it wasn’t enough to get past an undefeated Centauri Falcons team on the road Friday night.
BHS head coach Klint Chandler said his team shot the ball well in a 65-46 loss, but said the team defense needs to get a bit better going forward.
The Wolverines (1-11, 0-3 IML) were down only 10 at halftime, but the Falcons (12-0, 3-0 IML) were too much in the second half.
Stats were not available at press time Friday.
“Man, our guys really battled tonight,” Chandler said. “I think our defense has got to get a little better. Offensively, the things we’re working on in practice showed up in the game, so you like to see that.”
BHS will stay on the road and face Monte Vista at 7 p.m. Saturday.
Sports writer Joel Priest Contributed to this email@example.com