Walking into the Mancos Performance Center, you could hear the thud of people's feet against the bleachers, the swishing of the blue and white pompoms whipping through the air, and the squeaking of the girl's shoes against the floor as they started their warm-ups. With barely an available seat anywhere the crowd piled into the gym as the JV Boys began their game.
Ro Paschal started off the game with the jump ball and the Jays rushed to a major lead, leaving the Bears pointless until the start of the 3rd quarter. Adrian Hernandez, Drew Morgan, Ro Paschal, and everyone else on this persevering JV team pulled it together and played as a team. All of them drove to the basket, putting solid points on the board. With everyone getting equal playing time on the JV team, Coach Emilio Marquez pulled his team together for a solid win of 52-24.
The varsity girls started off slow and tried to pick up the intensity to match the Bear's pace all throughout the game. The girls fell behind as the Bear's made basket after basket, leaving the Blue Jays in the dust. However, the girls never gave up as they fought back with everything they had. The crowd was into the game through all four quarters and tried to pep up the girls as much as they could. But with all the people there to support them, the Jays couldn't pull through in the end and lost in the final minutes of the 4th quarter. But I believe that, although the Jays are losing some amazing seniors, next year, with more experience and the dedication to win, the girls will pull through and be better than ever; especially if Coach Josh Kitchen and Coach Rachel Romance keep up the intensity in their practices and keep pushing their players to succeed.
With the varsity boys' season coming to an end and the pressure of being in districts within the next couple of weeks looming in the future, the boys ended Saturday night with a loss. However, this loss against the Dolores Bears was unexpected as the boys rushed to a 5-point lead in the first minutes of the first quarter. As the minutes of each quarter ticked down second by second the points racked up and both teams fought to keep the lead when they had it. The crowd kept up the boy's intensity as they cheered for each point that was made and booed when the referees made horrible calls. By halftime the Jays were down by four points and went into the locker room knowing the second half would be an intense one. Coming back out onto the court the boys had the desire to win flaming in their eyes and tied the score within the first two minutes of the 3rd quarter. Three pointers were the Jays' best friend as Wyatt Cox, Brandon Hood-Farley, and Ro Paschal made at least two the whole game, while Branson Mitchell made his first three-pointer of the season. The Jays fought to make the distance between the score less and less when the last six seconds of the 4th quarter ticked down. But their effort was just not enough as the Jays lost 79-73.
Next week the Jays will travel to Nucla to play their last regular season game, and within the weeks after that the boys will start district playoffs in Cortez. I encourage any and all Mancos community members to come and support the boys in their effort to make it past the first round of districts and continue on in their hopes to become league champions.