Showing signs of running out of fuel following a one-day, two-game assignment in Cortez a few days before, Ignacio’s girls nonetheless remained unbeaten in the expiring Old Year with a road win Tuesday evening in Dolores.
“This is a tough place to play,” head coach Trae Seibel stated. “It always has been, ever since I was in high school, and I’m glad we walked out of here with no one hurt. We’re staying together as a team. As I reinforce to these ladies every day, the best player on the team is the team. And when we walk out with a win, we understand there’s things we’ve got to work on. But we move on, stay humble, stay hungry.”
And when the food is free – as in free throws – feast freely.
Seibel’s varsity went into halftime ahead 29-16 after sinking nine of 10 charity shots during the second quarter and 11 of 12 for the half.
The Cats finished 12-of-14 from the stripe in a 43-25 triumph over their 2A/1A San Juan Basin League nemesis, though high-scorers Makayla Howell and Avionne Gomez were a humorous 0-for-0 combined.
Consistently hitting running hook-style shots in the lane with her right hand, Howell finished with 12 points while Gomez drained a conservative two three-pointers and totaled 10 points. Sophomore center/forward Morgan Herrera made her season debut and made three points, but played limited minutes after four personal fouls limited them further.
“Makayla stepped up as a captain,” said Seibel. “She understands that she’s got to take on that role and help be a leader for her team. or us, our offense is geared around post play; if our forwards aren’t getting touches, aren’t getting great position in their lines of deployment, then we don’t have a great offense.”
Four-of-four in the free-throw department, sophomore Larissa Gallegos finished with four points. Two free throws in as many tries to her name, freshman Shelcie Gosney did likewise, and senior Allisianna Baker totaled three points via four FT tries.
“I thought our girls played well as a team,” Seibel said. “You know, that’s all that matters to me. There were moments we couldn’t put the ball in the hoop, but that’s basketball. There’s going to be times that we don’t make our shots and we’ve just got to shake ’em off.”
Ignacio’s JV squad also scored 27-26 overtime win, giving interim coach and former varsity player Pam Cotton her first victory heading a prep-level team.
The varsity girls are now off to a 2-0 league start, and 4-0 overall following dominant wins over SJBL foe Nucla (58-15) and 3A Montezuma-Cortez (56-27) at M-CHS’ “Rumble in ‘The Jungle’” last Saturday. Ignacio will next see action Tuesday, Dec. 19, at home versus Mancos.