Steve Lewis/Durango Herald
Rivalry? What rivalry?
The Ignacio High School boys basketball team turned the raucous Pine River rivalry into a placid blowout of Class 3A Bayfield on Tuesday night at BHS.
Ignacio’s Clayton Jefferson scored 19 points, Justin Carver added 14 more, and the Bobcats ripped through the opening minutes of their second half to hush the rowdy Bayfield crowd with a 67-42 final score and complete the sweep of their Pine River rivals.
“We just outpowered them,” Jefferson said. “Hit our shots, and we caught fire.”
The Class 2A Bobcats, ranked 6th in Colorado by The Denver Post, built a modest 30-18 lead by the halfway break before really heating up.
Then, they scored six unanswered points on three Bayfield turnovers to embark on an 11-2 run to open the second half, churning through points in transition.
The previously proud Bayfield gymnasium deflated like a gold and purple balloon. Even the student section, which normally stands throughout play, sat down.
“At that point, I thought it was done,” IHS coach Chris Valdez said of the scoring spree.
“Our transition in the second half, I think, was the nail.”
Bayfield’s Trevor Gabbard, who scored seven points behind Preston Hardy’s nine and Dillon Hoselton’s eight, thought those turnovers sealed the coffin, too.
“Coming out down by 12, then instantly down by 18 ... it was just everybody trying to do things that their skill level didn’t let them do,” Gabbard sid. “We didn’t play to our ability.”
Valdez said the Bobcats’ superior speed gave them an edge on both offense and defense, allowing guards such as Jefferson to find passing lanes and space to shoot. Jefferson sliced through the paint in the second half to tip in lay-ups and knocked down two 3-pointers to go toward Ignacio’s eight total 3s.
“Just got to have confidence when shooting the ball,” Jefferson said. “Just let them fly.”
Ignacio led by as many as 29 points at 59-30 in the fourth quarter, then the Wolverines hit some solid shots to close the gap by a couple of points.
Still, Valdez said he was pleased with his team, which has had trouble closing out games this year, for making some shots of their own and mostly maintaining the difference.
“Good to get a win against a rivalry team,” Jefferson said.