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Ignacio thumps Telluride girls basketball 71-2 for district championship

Bobcats win eight consecutive district titles
Ignacio High School’s Makayla Howell steals the ball away from Telluride’s Amy Guerrero in the first half of the Class 2A District 3 San Juan Basin League championship game Saturday at Montezuma-Cortez High School. The Bobcats won their eighth consecutive district championship in a 71-2 win.

CORTEZ – Saturday’s Class 2A District 3 San Juan Basin League girls basketball championship game between Ignacio and Telluride was decided by the end of the first quarter. By halftime, Ignacio High School was well on its way to an eighth consecutive district title.

The Bobcats (16-5) won their 13th consecutive game in another dominant performance, a 71-2 defeat of the Telluride Miners (8-13).

After a 44-22 win against Mancos a night earlier, the Bobcats left no question about which team was best in the league.

“We expected what happened today,” said Ignacio High School head coach Justa Whitt. “We didn’t have the best day yesterday, so today’s goal was to come out and be really strong. We were able to do that right off of the bat. We used the whole bench like I wanted to, so that was big for us today.”

Ignacio was led by Makayla Howell and Charlize Valdez with 14 points each. Jayden Brunson had 12 points, and Avaleena Naneto added eight, all in the first half.

IHS got off to a strong start behind its fast-break opportunities and stout defense, as the Bobcats controlled the tempo early and led 22-0 after the first quarter.

In the second, IHS continued to find answers in the low post and on the fast beak, as Ignacio led 39-0 at halftime. Nanaeto and Howell each had eight points in the quarter, while Valdez had seven.

With the regional tournament next week, Whitt said she wanted the Bobcats to have as strong of an offensive performance as possible.

Telluride scored its lone basket when Melena Krownapple scored a layup with 5:45 to go in the third quarter. She was fouled but unable to make her free throw. The Miners went 0-of-5 from the foul line in the game.

While Ignacio has a lot of lopsided wins in league play, Valdez believes there are always areas to improve on.

“On those kind of games where we know we can score more than in any other game, we just try and focus on the little things that we can work on,” Valdez said. “It feels really good to win another championship, and we didn’t get too excited because it was kind of a given. We’re still excited to be moving on with our season.”

Ignacio will host a regional tournament as a district champion for the third consecutive season and will play next Friday and Saturday in the first and second rounds of the regional.

IHS will find out its opponents when the full Class 2A bracket is released Monday.

“It’s awesome that we get to play at home because we know a top team is going to come our way,” Whitt said. “Most likely, they’re going to send somebody from the Yuma league, which is really strong. That’s where Wray came from last year. It’s going to be a tough game, and we don’t just want to skate through like we did today. We’re ready for more challenges.”

bploen@durangoherald.com

Feb 29, 2020
Fourth-quarter heroics send Mancos past Ignacio for district title


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