Sometimes it's easier to get back up on one's feet than stand upon them for prolonged periods of time.
And with the regular season winding down, that's what the Ignacio boys will look to do in order to build momentum for the 2A-District 3 Tournament next weekend at Montezuma-Cortez H.S. Which, being closer to IHS Gymnasium, will seem like home compared to two tricky away destinations they played this week.
Able to trip Telluride 59-51 after the Friday night fray inside the MinerDome, the Bobcats were unable to keep a clean sheet in the 2A/1A San Juan Basin League and dropped a disappointing Saturday session at Ridgway by a 42-41 verdict. That ended an eight-game winning streak for the Bobcats.
To be fair, the Ridgway Demons weren't the same Demons that lost by 36 points back on Jan. 12. Finally starting to jell under former RHS standout Jake Coulter, Ridgway went into the game having won five of their last six. Their only loss during that stretch coming by just 10 points at Mancos a week before the 'Cats came a-calling.
Senior Jimmy Saville and sophomore Kaden Forrest, who did not play in the teams' previous meeting, each scored 12 points (and each grabbed nine rebounds) and senior Colin Kraft added 10 as the Demons built up a 30-23 halftime lead. Ignacio won the fourth quarter by an 11-3 margin to nearly swipe victory from defeat.
Dinged to 9-1 in SJBL action by the rare league loss, head coach Chris Valdez knew that both games could be difficult if regulars Kai Roubideaux and Lawrence Valdez were still unavailable, though the squad had proven capable of playing well in their absence by downing 4A Durango (56-51, inside Fort Lewis College's Whalen Gymnasium) less than four days before. Getting senior guard Kruz Pardo back definitely helped.
"Some of the newer guys that haven't had a lot of time.I thought they played hard, and that's important to me," he said.
Up next for Ignacio, the boys travel to Mancos Thursday. That will be followed by a Snowcoming Week-ending visit on Saturday, Feb. 17, from 1A Ouray with tipoff scheduled for 3:30 p.m. Having had a week to prepare, the Trojans will arrive standing 6-4 in the SJBL and 9-9 overall.
The boys will then wrap up the regular season hosting 1A Monticello, Utah, on Tuesday, Feb. 20 before heading to Cortez on Feb. 23-24.
CHSAANOW.COM CLASS 2A BOYS' BASKETBALL POLL (released Feb. 12): 1.Ordway Crowley County, 2.Yuma, 3.Del Norte, 4.Julesburg-Ovid Revere Sedgwick County, 5.Ault Highland, 6.Byers, 7.Limon, 8.Edwards Vail Christian, 9.Meeker, 10.Simla. (Others Receiving Votes-IGNACIO, Calhan, Sanford, Rangely, Fowler, Lafayette Alexander Dawson, Colorado Springs Evangelical Christian, Haxtun, Evergreen Clear Creek, Paonia.)