In a game in which baskets were at a premium, the Mancos High School girls basketball team did not have enough bounces go its way and lost at home to Telluride High School, 27-20, in the opening game of the Class 2A District 3 Tournament on Feb. 19.
As if to foreshadow what was a defensive battle from start to finish, the Lady Jays and the Miners combined for five points during a turnover-plagued first quarter that ended with Telluride leading 4-1.
Neither team’s offense performed much better over the second eight minutes of the contest, which began with jumpers from Mancos junior Isis Jaime and Mancos sophomore Madi Hale and ended with a 5-0 Telluride run that put the Lady Jays behind 9-5 at halftime.
Among the third-quarter quarter highlights for the Lady Jays was the play of junior Emmalee Asnicar, who scored three points and pulled down several rebounds. Asnicar also did an admirable job of limiting Telluride’s 6-foot-1 senior, Jess Pack, and Telluride’s 5-fot-11 sophomore Morgan Watkinson as the duo did their best to control the paint.
Telluride’s size advantage ultimately proved to be too much for the Lady Jays to overcome, as Watkinson ended up with a game-high eight points and Pack scored seven. Jaime scored five points for the Lady Jays, and Hale and Asnicar each scored four.
The Miners led 18-10 at the end of the third quarter before the Lady Jays outscored them 10-9 in the final frame. Although several Mancos players were emotional after the loss, players were able to take solace in their vast improvements over the course of the season.
“Our team improved so much this season, we’ve all improved so much, and we’re a completely different team now than we were at the beginning of the year,” Asnicar said. “I’m really proud of that.”
With the loss, Mancos ended its year with a 4-16 record overall and a 4-8 in the San Juan Basin League. With several talented underclassmen set to return next season, the future appears bright for the Lady Jays’ program.
“We’re a young team,” Asnicar said. “We’re just going to play a lot together over the summer, go to a lot of camps, and do our best to improve.”