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No. 6 Ignacio boys keep season going with win against No. 7 Ellicott

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Friday, March 9, 2018 9:22 PM

The Bobcats aren't done yet.

After a tough loss to No. 3 Byers in the quarterfinals Thursday, the Ignacio High School boys basketball team bounced back with a 63-53 win against Ellicott in the consolation bracket of the Class 2A state tournament Friday at the Budweiser Events Center in Loveland.

The win keeps the No. 6 Bobcats' season going, as it moved them into the consolation final where they'll meet the winner of No. 4 Highland and No. 8 Sanford at 10:30 a.m. Saturday in Loveland.

"We said we could fight and try to give our seniors one more game and that's what we did," Ignacio head coach Chris Valdez said.

The Bobcats and Thunderhawks went back and forth in the first quarter. With the score tied at 7, Ignacio went on a short run to build a 13-8 lead, but Ellicott answered and trailed 15-14 after the first quarter.

The seventh-seeded Thunderhawks kept their run going in the second quarter with a 7-0 run to build a 21-15 lead midway through the quarter. Ellicott extended its run to 11-0 in the second quarter before Kai Roubideaux scored with about three minutes remaining before halftime.

"At first, our offense was kind of slow and we were relying on our defense," Roubideaux said. "At the end of the first half we started to get into our groove and got out in transition. We outran them with our speed because we lacked the height compared to their guys. It was all transition offense that got us back in the lead."

Roubideaux's bucket sparked a 13-0 run for the Bobcats to take a 28-25 lead late in the second quarter and took a 30-27 lead into halftime.

"After a full game and a quarter and a half we finally hit our run to kind of wake us up out of our slumber," coach Valdez said. "I think that run changed our whole dynamic. We saw what we're able to do and ran with it. I was happy we made our run, but also that we added to it. When they (Ellicott) would make a couple baskets we'd answer right back."

Roubideaux was the driving force for Ignacio in the first half with 11 points, and continued his strong performance in the second half with some timely baskets and rebounds. He finished with 21 points.

"This could have been the last game of my career, and all our seniors' careers," Roubideaux said. "So we wanted to come out and play like it was our last game. That's what we always do and that was our main focus today."

The Bobcats kept rolling in the third quarter with a pair of 3s from Johnny Valdez that helped push the lead to 39-29 midway through the quarter.

The Thunderhawks cut Ignacio's lead to 45-40 late in the third quarter, but Roubideaux found himself all alone on the perimeter and drained a 3 to send the game to the fourth quarter with a 48-40 advantage.

But Ellicott didn't go away. The Thunderhawks connected with a 3-pointer from Clay Sanger midway through the fourth that made it 54-50, then again at 56-52 before Roubideaux made his third 3 of the game, which pushed the lead back to seven points. Ellicott never got within six points the rest of the game.

Senior Johnny Valdez finished the day with 15 points and made 3-of-4 from long range. Kruz Pardo, another senior, added 11 points, eight of which came in the fourth quarter to help secure the victory.

"Johnny had an all-around game with 15 points, five rebounds, five assists and four steals, but everybody stepped up for us," coach Valdez said. "Ocean (Hunter), who didn't have a big offensive game, but the kid had eight rebounds and five assists. He's one of the guys we don't mention a whole lot, but he quietly had a great game. They all played well and didn't want it to end today."

kschneider@durangoherald.com

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