Bobcats turn out lights early

Ignacio boys use 3-pointers to beat Sargent

IGNACIO

Turn out the lights – early.

The state-ranked Ignacio High School boys basketball team finished the party early Saturday night, using a stunning 16-1 first-quarter start en route to a dominating 60-45 win over visiting Sargent.

Freshman guard Wyatt Hayes started the party with a 3-pointer – the first of 10 Ignacio baskets from beyond the arc.

Adison Jones scored on a fastbreak layup and a putback.

And Clayton Jefferson, with a pair of assists, added a layup and a nifty up-and-under basket at the close of the first quarter.

A 3-pointer by Kelton Richmond to open the second quarter produced a 19-1 lead, and the Bobcats were off and running, improving to 9-3 overall.

“We just stepped up our D early like we always have,” Jefferson said. “Our defense got our offense running.”

Jefferson, who was one of four different Bobcats to hit a 3-pointer, led all scorers with 17 points in the nonconference victory over a Sargent boys program that’s been to the Class 2A elite eight in Pueblo three times in the last four years.

Richmond, who finished with four 3-pointers, added 14 points for the Bobcats.

“I was trying to get him the ball as much as I can. I knew he was hot,” Jefferson said of Richmond, who added three blocked shots Saturday night.

“It gets contagious,” Jefferson said of the hot, long-range shooting.

“When someone hits one, then someone off the bench hits one,” said Jefferson, the son of Tina and Robert Jefferson.

“For Kelton to come in and shoot like he did (in the fourth quarter) ... that’s huge for us,” IHS head coach Chris Valdez said.

“If we can get him going along with what else we have, I think we can be competitive (in the Class 2A playoffs),” said Valdez, who has led the Ignacio boys to the elite eight four times in the last five years.

“We’ve got a lot of work to do on the inside game,” the Ignacio head coach said.

“But we’re kind of in a lull in the schedule, so we’ll be able to run their butts, really get them in shape and work on our inside game,” Valdez said.

The Bobcats didn’t need much of an inside game after their explosive start against Sargent (4-6 overall, 2-1 in the Southern Peaks League).

“What we did was, we switched Clayton (Jefferson) and Wyatt (Hayes) and their positions,” Valdez said.

“Clayton is such a good scorer,” he said, adding that the change created favorable matchups.

“Clayton was able to slash and cut (on the weak side). And he got some good assists from the wing, too,” Valdez said.

Hayes, in additon to a half-dozen assists, finished with 11 points, including three 3-pointers.

Jones also scored 11 points for the Bobcats with one trey.

Justin Carver also hit a 3-pointer for the Bobcats.

Scott Dillon led Sargent with 14 points, including one 3-pointer.

Nate Ramirez and Austin Dillon added eight points each for the Farmers, who trailed 31-14 at halftime.

The Ignacio boys, ranked No. 7 in Class 2A by The Denver Post, will face a San Juan Basin League doubleheader next weekend. They will host Nucla on Friday night before traveling to Ouray for a Saturday night game.

dstrode@durangoherald.com