Senior forward Adison Jones pumped in a game-high 20 points, but none during last Friday's victory in Dove Creek may have been more important than his first-quarter six-the same number as DCHS' missed-free-throw count. That allowed Ignacio to overcome Bulldog junior Jordan Ernst's 10-point outburst and lead 19-14 after eight exciting minutes before separating in swift fashion and prevailing 69-30.
"Dominating game for our big man," said IHS Head Coach Chris Valdez. "He started out a little slow because the zone [defense] kind of tends to get us shooting outside a little bit, and our shooting was off. ome people play zones on us, most people have been playing man so we haven't thought about it. This was a good test to see that and still come out with a 39-point win."
"We've been doing pretty good this year but we haven't been shooting enough," said Ernst, who finished with a team-best 13. "So I just thought I'd.start throwing them up, hopefully they'd start falling.and they did."
"Wish I could have carried that on the whole night but.they started playing tighter and tighter."
None more so than Bobcat junior Wyatt Hayes, who also mirrored Ernst's initial two three-pointers and netted eight first-quarter points of his own en route to totaling eleven in the 2A/1A San Juan Basin League battle.
"Wyatt is.who he is-11 points, six assists, six steals.those are great things for that kid every week," Valdez said. "He's about helping this team.shut down, usually, their best guard."
Classmate Tucker Ward, whose five points in the starting quarter mathematically made for IHS' advantage, was also essential in the backcourt and amassed 12. The Bobcats went on a 13-0 run after Ernst converted a three-point play with 6:27 left in the second quarter. That brought the 'Dogs back to as close as 19-17. But the Bobcats still a 32-17 lead at halftime.
"We just came out flat and not ready to play," lamented Ignacio junior center Nick Herrera. "I mean, we hit a few shots but not all of them were falling. We were just playing flat."
"Especially me," he added, despite nine points to his credit. "I just need to do more in the post."
Junior guard Anthony Manzanares scored six points for the Bobcats (9-2, 5-0 SJBL), and junior forward Austin McCaw booked four. Senior guard Xavier Reynolds and freshman guard Kruz Pardo each scored two, and freshman Johnny Valdez drained a triple off the left wing as the final buzzer sounded.
"Early in the game you play solid defense, you don't give them easy shots.you make them work for everything," Coach Valdez said. "It was a lesson for us because we gave up 14 points in the first quarter and we only gave up 16 the next three! Those defensive lapses cannot happen, no matter when in the game."
"It was a good test to show us some places that we're weak in right now."
After having had a full week for rest and refinement, Ignacio jumped up two spots to #3 in the newest poll released Monday. The Bobcats return to league action tonight at Dolores.