The Ignacio basketball girls will hit the court running in '18-19 as a top-10 ranked 2A team.
Looking to build upon last season's 21-4 effort under predecessor Trae Seibel, head coach Justa Whitt - starting her second coaching stint with IHS - will have a well-tested crew at her disposal, led by guards Kiana Valdez and Ebonee Gomez - a senior and sophomore, respectively - along with junior posts Makayla Howell and Larissa Gallegos.
Sophomore guards Charlize Valdez and Jayden Brunson should provide extra excitement as the Lady Bobcats-ranked tenth in the CHSAANow.com Class 2A preseason poll-will tip off their season at 4:00 p.m. Friday, Nov. 30, at the two-day Limon Invitational against Crowley County of Ordway.
The winner will then contest the event's championship against either #2-ranked LHS or unranked Colorado Springs School on Day 2 at 4 p.m., while the Day 1 losers will square off for third place at 1 p.m.
The girls are lacking junior center/forward Morgan Herrera, who transferred out of state, as well as the graduated backcourt-frontcourt duo of Avionne Gomez and Allisianna Baker-Marquez,
Ignacio boys basketballComing off a 20-6 effort and sixth-place finish at State last winter, Chris Valdez's Bobcat boys will also begin the new campaign in distant Lincoln County, facing Crowley County, ranked eighth in the 2A boys' preseason poll, on Day 1 at 5:30 p.m.
The winner will then challenge either the #4-ranked Badgers or the Colorado Springs School's unranked Kodiaks in the Day 2 title tilt at 5:30. The Day 1 defeateds will battle for third place at 2:30.
With graduation having claimed most of his anchors, including guards John Valdez, Kruz Pardo and Cole McCaw, plus forward Kai Roubideaux, and guard Lawrence Valdez having transferred out of state prior to football season, the youth movement seen in glimpses during 2017-18 should continue in earnest for Ignacio. Sophomore posts Dylan Labarthe and Bryce Finn are joining returning junior Ocean Hunter up front.
Young guards Keegan Schurman, Brady McCaw and Bird Red all finished last season on the roster which traveled to Loveland's Budweiser Events Center and will be expected to again contribute either as regulars or again coming off the bench.
CHSAANOW.COM CLASS 2A PRESEASON BOYS' BASKETBALL RANKINGS: 1.Yuma, 2.Ault Highland, 3.Byers, 4.Limon, 5.Simla, 6.Sanford, 7.Holly, 8.Ordway Crowley County, 9.Julesburg/Ovid Revere Sedgwick County, 10. Edwards Vail Christian. Others receiving votes-Del Norte, IGNACIO, Holyoke, Mancos, Colorado Springs Thomas MacLaren, Denver Christian, Fowler, Akron, Burlington, Hotchkiss, Meeker, Greeley Union Colony.
CHSAANOW.COM CLASS 2A PRESEASON GIRLS' BASKETBALL RANKINGS: 1.Yuma, 2.Limon, 3.Wray, 4.Del Norte, 5.Swink, 6.Holyoke, 7.Meeker, 8.Simla, 9.Ault Highland, 10.IGNACIO. Others receiving votes-Paonia, Rangely, Evergreen Clear Creek, Rocky Ford, Oak Creek Soroco, Sanford, Denver Christian, Edwards Vail Christian.