IHS boys pick up a feel-good loss

No. 8 in 2A (Ignacio) loses by 3 to No. 6 in 3A (Pagosa Springs)

It was a feel-good loss for the Bobcats.

The Ignacio High School boys basketball team, ranked No. 8 in Class 2A by The Denver Post, just missed clipping Pagosa Springs, ranked No. 6 in Class 3A, on Friday night, losing 53-50 in Pagosa Springs.

“It was a pretty good game for us to play that well against them,” IHS head coach Chris Valdez said. “That made us feel pretty good.”

The Pirates held a one-point lead with 15 seconds remaining, while the Bobcats plotted an inbounds play in search of the lead.

It would’ve gone perfectly, Valdez said, until the target of Ignacio’s pass tripped down low, and the pass went out of bounds for the turnover.

Pagosa Springs hit two free throws to take the three-point lead, but the Bobcats got one final chance when a half-court shot rattled off the rim.

In the first half, the Bobcats pounced on a 17-8 lead to end the first quarter before holding on for a 24-23 lead at halftime.

Kain Lucero proved the Pirates’ biggest asset: He scored 19 points, a smattering of them from beyond the arc.

“They have a great point guard over here,” Valdez said of Lucero.

“To go against all those veterans in Pagosa ... it was good for our young team to get tested like this and play so tough,” Valdez said of his team, which traveled with no seniors Friday.

Adison Jones led IHS with 14 points, and Wyatt Hayes had 11.

Justin Carver finished with 10 points and nine rebounds, seven in the first half.

“That that was a pretty good game for that kid,” Valdez said.

The Bobcats (4-1) will open San Juan Basin League play after the holiday break at 6:30 p.m. Jan. 5 at Dolores.