Fueled by 11 made 3-pointers, the Ignacio High School boys basketball team stormed back from a tough first half to blow past the Dove Creek Bulldogs on Thursday night in Dove Creek.
Brady McCaw hit four big 3s in the second half, and Joe Garcia and Gabe Tucson also knocked down key baskets as Ignacio outscored Dove Creek 22-6 in the third quarter and 17-8 in the fourth to secure a 64-44 victory.
Bryce Finn led IHS (11-2, 9-0 2A/1A San Juan Basin League) with 16 points in the win. McCaw finished with 14, and Tucson and Dylan Labarthe each had 11. Garcia finished with eight.
“We didn’t play well the first half, but we held it together,” IHS head coach Chris Valdez said. “The 3s really pulled us through.”
Hayden Gray scored 12 of his team-high 16 points for the Bulldogs (6-6, 5-3 SJBL) in a first quarter in which the home team led 20-12. Kade Hankins scored 15.
“Their big guys is really tough,” Valdez said of Gray. “He’s a big body, but we knew he’d get tired in the second half, so we just had to hold on. Bryce did a great job defending him. He’d have a hand right in his face, but he was hitting fadeaways and got a couple easy buckets in there.”
Valdez said the team switched its defense from man to a 2-3 zone in the second quarter along with a diamond press to prevent Gray from being able to sit on the block and catch entry passes. The Bobcats stuck with it the rest of the game.
McCaw and Garcia hit two 3s each in the third quarter to turn a 31-30 lead into a 47-36 advantage going to the fourth quarter. Garcia beat the buzzer with a corner 3 to set the tone for the game’s final eight minutes.
IHS has locked up a league championship but aims to secure a top-eight seed in the Class 2A playoffs to earn a home game with another win Saturday at Telluride.
“We knew we had to win our last four games to try to get a home game and maybe even a bye in the first round,” Valdez said. “We’d like a bye and not have to play until next Thursday. We have to go into Telluride with the mentality that we have to win the game.”
Girls BasketballThe Ignacio High School girls basketball team suffered a rare second consecutive loss Thursday night.
Two days after being stunned by the Mancos Bluejays, the Bobcats went on the road to face an undefeated Dove Creek Bulldogs team.
IHS led 26-24 and built a lead as large as 34-28 before 3-point shooting got the host Bulldogs in front 39-38 after three quarters.
After being tied at 44-44 in the fourth quarter, free-throw shooting would decide the game. Class 1A Dove Creek made more down the stretch to secure the win and improve to 12-0 overall and 7-0 in the 2A/1A San Juan Basin League.
The Bobcats fell to 8-4 and 5-2 in league play with their second consecutive loss.
Grace Hatfield of Dove Creek scored a game-high 19 points, while Kalie Gatlin scored 14.
Charlize Valdez led Ignacio with 17 points, while Shelcie Gosney finished with 10 and Harmony Reynolds added nine. Foul trouble hurt Ignacio all night. Both Jayden and Laci Brunson fouled out in the fourth quarter.
IHS will close out the regular season Saturday with a road trip to Telluride.