Bent on making up for time lost last season due to injury, Ignacio's Sky Cotton wanted to start immediately Tuesday evening against the reigning Class 3A girls basketball runners-up. In their house, no less.
Netting the Bobcats' first basket of the 2014-15 season close in to the hoop, the senior guard also cashed the team's second and third with perfect rainbows from beyond the three-point arc. Cotton singlehandedly battled Pagosa Springs to an 8-8 draw early in an exciting first quarter, which also saw talented freshman Hilda Garcia strike for her first five varsity points.
"I wanted to give everything for my team and I could not have done it without them," Cotton said afterwards. "That was probably the best feeling in the world, being back from an injury and then going for it.. I'm just so excited-it's hard for me to speak right now!"
Seasoned Pagosa juniors Madison Lewis and Taylor Hammer-Lee, however, combined for 11 points and senior Payton Shahan canned a three, helping PSHS take a slim 19-14 lead into the second quarter.
The advantage would grow to 28-18 on a basket by junior Mariah Snarr with 1:44 before halftime, but six more Garcia points and a hoop by freshman Avionne Gomez with just 15 seconds left on the clock helped the visitors stay close at halftime, 28-22.
In the third quarter, however, the Pirates went on an 8-2 run at the start, and Cotton's braced left leg apparently cramped after being fouled on a three-point try with 1:39 left and Pagosa ahead 40-27. Pagosa ended with a 59-39 win.
In game stats, Garcia ultimately paced Ignacio with her first-half 11, and Cotton finished with 10. Junior Chrystianne Valdez scored her five in the fourth quarter. Gomez finished with four points, sophomore Alejandra Lujan had three, senior Amya Bison two, and juniors Ellie Seibel, Cortney Wilson-Baker and Bekah Powell each scored one.
"Pagosa's an amazing team, state runner-up last year-this is a perfect game for us," said Cotton, who did return to action in the final quarter. "Because we can go hard in Alamosa; we're going to give everyone a run for their money."
The Bobcats' played yesterday at Adams State University against 3A Centauri. Today, Day 2 of the event, IHS takes on 4A Glenwood Springs at 3:30 p.m., with 2A Rye awaiting them tomorrow.