If there is one Bobcat who may never forget Wyatt Hayes' work at the expense of Pine River Valley neighbors Bayfield on Tuesday, it was Adison Jones.
Playing against the Wolverines for the last time-along with reserve guard Xavier Reynolds-the senior forward made Ignacio's last two of an incredible 11 three-pointers. Those helped Jones rack up 18 points in IHS' 67-42 non-league romp inside standing-room-only BHS Gymnasium.
"I don't know.we couldn't get a lot of shots to fall, and they were doing the opposite," said Bayfield junior forward Zane Phelps, who scrapped for a home-high 12 points. "Everything they put up was going in, and we couldn't get anything to fall. That was pretty much the main factor."
That and Hayes, the poker-faced point guard. His accuracy in every long-range shot, was rewarded with two resounding ovations from Ignacio supporters.
"I was just trying to get my confidence up," explained the Ignacio junior. "When I make a big shot or make a three, it seems like it takes a lot of pressure off our team."
Explained IHS Head Coach Chris Valdez: "Wyatt.I mean, early in the game they were playing pretty physical, pressure defense, and he took it upon himself. Hit a couple of big shots and gave us the little gap we needed to get our other guys some confidence."
Consecutive Hayes treys allowed the 'Cats to separate and end the first quarter ahead 12-4. Wolverine senior guard Conner Kennedy (eight points) began the second with a short, but confident floater, but Hayes countered promptly with his third triple.
Kennedy's next two points, free throws with 3:55 remaining before halftime, at last got BHS into double digits but the Wolverines still trailed by a 12-point (22-10) margin which re-grew to fourteen (27-13) at halftime.
"We did pretty good on the boards," said Bayfield freshman forward Ryan Phelps. "The only thing that went wrong is that.nobody on the team had a good shot. We could not get the ball to fall down as a team."
Bobcat junior center Nick Herrera and junior guard Tucker Ward started the third quarter with easy lay-ins, and after Hayes' fourth three-pointer went down, Ward ran onto a lengthy, perfectly-placed Hayes outlet pass and leapt in stride for a layup. It was Ignacio's first advantage of 20 points or more (41-20) with 3:27 left in the third quarter..
Junior guard Anthony Manzanares' second three in the quarter increased the guests' lead to 44-20 late, and the fourth quarter soon began with IHS (13-2, 8-0 2A/1A San Juan Basin League) controlling the contest 48-23.
"I thought between Wyatt, Adison and Anthony-Anthony had three threes tonight!-the attack they gave us.and six (points) from Nick and seven from Tucker.you're talking about your starters scoring all your points!" stated Valdez. "Our starters were pretty balanced."
"With how we start (defensively) in a zone.their shooters made us come out of that really quick," Zane Phelps said. "We just couldn't match up; we're trying to play inside and their outside game was just lighting it up."
Playing to the inevitable end, Phelps managed seven points in the closing quarter and Ryan Phelps booked all his five, but Jones struck for his last eight and Hayes registered his last six, giving him a game-best 22 points.
"I thought it was good; we came out and played tough, fast.played our game," said Hayes. "If one of us gets going, it gets the team going and I just thought I'd take that role tonight!"
Manzanares finished with 13 points and junior reserve Austin McCaw had the Bobcats' lone bench point.
"We went through a sickness, went through some injuries.and.we've overcome that a little bit," said Valdez. "And this is really our first game almost healthy, you know? I still think we've got almost until, maybe, this weekend or next weekend before our guys completely have the bugs out of their system!"
"Balance is absolutely essential for us to be good down the stretch."
Rankings-wise, the Bobcats are coming in off a quality 66-49 road win last Saturday at 1A Ouray (12-2, 6-2 SJBL). But they are still entrenched at #3-behind current No. 1 Loveland Resurrection Christian and reigning state champions Sanford. Up next for IHS will be a visit from Ridgway tonight.
For the Wolverines, senior guard Dillon Hoselton scored seven points and senior center Preston Hardy was limited to five. Coming off the bench, junior guard Taed Heydinger had three and senior guard Matthew Knickerbocker two in BHS' last outing before welcoming Monte Vista tonight to resume IML work. The Wolverines are 8-7, 0-5 in 3A Intermountain.
"I think we're going to find that we just had a bad night with shooting," said Ryan Phelps. "We'll continue to rebound, box out, play defense and work hard."
"We've just got to come ready to play," Zane Phelps concurred. "Get on top of it this time at home."