When Ignacio High School guard Triston Thompson warmed up before Friday night’s game against Dolores, he admitted he missed a lot of his attempts. Once the game started, though, Thompson came to life, as his quickness and versatility helped him get easy baskets and lifted the Class 2A fifth-ranked Bobcats to a 51-44 win.
In Thompson’s first game back after missing four games for eligibility issues, he led IHS (7-1, 3-0 2A/1A San Juan Basin League) in scoring with 16 points, while Brady McCaw scored 15 and Keegan Schurman and Gabe Tucson each had nine. Thompson said even while leading the Bobcats in scoring, there’s still plenty more to work on.
“For some reason, I didn’t feel as good coming back,” Thompson said. “I was shooting all day in the aux gym and was missing all of my shots. I came out and hit two 3-pointers in a row and got all of my confidence back. I gave the team their confidence, and that’s just how we wanted it.”
Dolores (3-7, 0-3) came out firing, as the Bears attempted to avenge a 49-22 loss in December. Trey Seekins led all scorers with 19 points, 14 of which came in the first half. Tru Seekins, Trey’s younger brother, was Doloers’ second leading scorer with eight.
Ignacio led 19-16 after the first quarter despite five made 3s by Dolores. The Bears took a brief one-point lead at 22-21 with 4:29 left in the half, but the Bobcats would respond in transition and took a narrow 29-27 lead at halftime.
“I see Dolores’ quickness and length and knew they were gonna be tough,” said IHS head coach Chris Valdez. “We didn’t do enough to get separation in the first half, but in the second, I thought Brady McCaw and Triston stepped up. Triston attacks, and he is our best finisher at the basket, and his quickness is invaluable to us. He was huge for us tonight.”
In the third quarter, the Bobcats went on an 8-0 run to take a 41-33 lead with 2:27 remaining with baskets from Thompson and McCaw, and that was the score going to the fourth.
Dolores head coach Justin Schmitt thought the Bears matched Ignacio on defense but could not get timely baskets in the fourth.
“We played hard tonight, and I thought we looked good,” Schmitt said. “We knew that this would be a tough environment to come into, and while we didn’t make some plays down the stretch, it was a good test for the boys. I told them that if we play solid basketball, there’s no reason why we can’t beat any team in our league.”
IHS will host Mancos (7-2, 1-0 SJBL) at 7 p.m. Tuesday in a pivotal league game.
Girls BasketballThe Ignacio High School girls basketball team recovered from Thursday night’s defeat at Del Norte to cruise past Dolores 55-6 on Friday at Ignacio High School.
Jayden Brunson led Igancio (4-5, 2-0 SJBL) with 12 points. Avaleena Nanaeto scored 11, mostly on transition layups, and Charlize Valdez scored nine. Eight different players scored in the win.
Dolores (1-6, 0-2 SJBL) was led by Samantha Castillo with three points.
Ignacio held Dolores scoreless for the first 14 minutes, 9 seconds of the game until Chandler Smith scored a basket with 1:51 left in the first half. During that time, IHS built up a 19-0 lead.
“We know going into league that it’s going to be fairly easy for us, and our goal is always to keep it on the uphill swing,” said IHS head coach Justa Whitt. “I think we started the game a little slow, and that was probably because of (Thursday) and all the energy put into that game, but they kind of woke up a little bit, came back at it and did exactly what we asked them to do.”
IHS will host Mancos (0-9, 0-1 SJBL) at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday.