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Cosio cops IML Player of the Year

Numerous Bayfield players were honored also
Ignacio senior Solymar Cosio obstructs Pagosa Springs senior Annie O'Donnell (22) during action this season inside IHS Gymnasium. O'Donnell was recently named First Team All-Intermountain League; Cosio was a first-team selection and also voted IML Girls' Player-of-the-Year. (Joel Priest/Special to the Herald)

Standing tallest among her teammates, Solymar Cosio stood tallest among her peers when voting for the All-Intermountain League girls’ basketball team was concluded and tallied.

Certainly Ignacio’s vocal leader, the senior center was a potential double-double every time she stepped onto the court in leading the upset-capable Lady Bobcats to the brink of a CHSAA Class 3A State Championships appearance. And though IHS finished a fifth-place 3-7 in the 3A/4A Intermountain League and 9-14 overall – after losing a close Region VI championship battle in Colorado Springs at St. Mary’s—Cosio’s contributions in her fourth and final varsity season were not underrated as she was named both First Team All-IML plus Girls’ Player-of-the-Year.

Cosio was also reportedly chosen as a Colorado Coaches of Girls’ Sports All-Stater, but ultimately decided against playing in the CCGS All-State Games’ Class 3A feature up at Grandview H.S. in Aurora this past Sunday, March 17.

“Even though we lost, in the end, I feel like we played our best basketball,” Cosio said, following the 45-38 loss to the Lady Pirates. “We peaked and just played the best we could; when someone wasn’t playing at her best, someone else helped out.”

Particularly in the memorable postseason; with junior Marissa Olguin watched more and more due to her outside-shooting knack and senior Maci Barnes playing with an injured finger, that someone proved to be senior guard Darlyn Mendoza-Lechuga. After netting the game-winning basket in Ignacio’s Region VI semifinal upset of Timnath and booking 13 points, Mendoza-Lechuga came out red-hot against St. Mary’s and logged 15 – keeping her close to a 10-ppg average during IHS’ four postseason outings and certainly helping her earn Honorable Mention All-League.

Also earning honorable mention were Bayfield senior guard Genesis Barrera and junior guard/forward Renae Foutz.

BHS’ season unfortunately came to an end in the IML District Tournament’s ‘pigtail’ play-in game, as Crested Butte prevailed 41-31 to advance to the tourney’s bracket play phase inside, ironically, BHS Gymnasium. The ‘rock’ of the Lady Wolverines (4-16, 0-10 IML) all winter, Foutz managed 11 points at CBCS’ Mt. Olympus home but Barrera was held to three as Lady Titan sophomore Molly Grace Miller went off for 23 and senior Annie Collins 10 in support of a stout defensive effort.

Having guided Pagosa Springs to a first-place 9-1 mark in Intermountain action, Pagosa Springs’ Sarah Osborn was voted IML Coach-of-the-Year. PSHS finished 21-5 overall after a 53-44 loss to Loveland Resurrection Christian in the Class 4A State Tournament’s Great Eight phase, held inside the Denver Coliseum.

Osborn would, along with assistant (and former Lady Pirate) Emily Buikema, coach the CCGS All-State Games’ 4A-Blue crew – including seniors Annie O’Donnell (First Team All-IML) and DaveyAnn Snarr (Honorable Mention) – but despite 10 points and 13 rebounds from O’Donnell the Blues fell 47-33 to 4A-Red, which got 14 points from Denver John F. Kennedy’s Keilani Venegas-Alvarez.

ADDITIONAL FIRST TEAM ALL-IML: Pagosa Springs—Elizabeth Currier, junior., and Karsyn Shahan, junior.; Centauri (17-7, 7-3 IML) – Hannah Curtis, junior., and Braelyn Tucker, junior.; Montezuma-Cortez (12-11, 6-4) – Taylor Whited, junior.; Alamosa (12-11, 5-5) – Morgan Ortega, junior., and Jaelin Garcia, sophomore.

ADDITIONAL HONORABLE MENTION ALL-IML: PSHS – Kylie Ketchum, junior.; CHS—Jocelyn Jarvies, junior., and Joselyn McCarroll, sophomore.