For one half, Bobcats ‘as good as anybody’

Steve Lewis/Durango Herald

Bo Ward and the Ignacio Bobcats found plenty of space beneath the basket, using their quick defense to beat San Juan Basin League rival Ridgway 51-41 on Saturday at Ignacio High School.

By Jim Sojourner Herald staff writer

If the Ignacio High School boys basketball team can figure out how to close out a second half, head coach Chris Valdez thinks the Bobcats could be scary.

As is, they just win.

Ignacio (8-2, 2-0 San Juan Basin League) chased a 14-0 game-starting run to a 31-10 halftime score before handing SJBL rival Ridgway some second-half momentum that made the 51-41 Bobcats’ win look closer than it really was.

“We’ve got to finish games the way we start games, and when we can do that, we’re going to be as good as anybody,” Valdez said.

“Once we do, teams are going to have a real hard time with us.”

The Demons had that kind of time to start.

Ridgway could find no space for the first two quarters Saturday night at IHS, nor could the Demons find net.

But they did find plenty of Wyatt Hayes’ hands. Hayes had seven of the Bobcats’ 17 steals.

Those steals translated into some quick and early points for Clayton Jefferson, who scored 10 of the Bobcats’ first 12 points. From there, Justin Carver took over for a game-high 18 points, including an alley-oop lay-up.

“Had to just keep working hard,” Carver said. “My teammates got me the ball, and I wanted to step up for them.”

But after halftime, Ignacio’s defense softened up under substitutes, and the Demons hit 50 percent of their 3s to climb back in reach.

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