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Ignacio girls pull away from Mancos, 66-51

Four of Lady Jays’ nine foul out in road loss
Ignacio's Avaleena Nanaeto leans away from Mancos' Chloe Endres to take a shot on Tuesday inside IHS Gymnasium. (Joel Priest/Special to the Herald)

Mancos sophomore guard Quincy Montoya racked up 11 fourth-quarter points on Tuesday and finished with a game-high 19. After Mancos had its initial 8-1 lead erased by hosting Ignacio’s own 8-0 burst to close out the opening eight minutes, however, Mancos fell behind by as many as nine points before halftime and never led again.

Ignacio won 66-51.

With 27 total fouls before intermission and 48 for the entire contest – resulting in disqualifications of Lady Jay seniors Makayla Wayman (3:34 left in the fourth), Hailey Veach (1:55 left), Justina Bayles (1:38) and Rhiley Montoya (0:59) – the Lady Bobcats took advantage, making 18 of 32 attempted free throws before senior Avaleena Nanaeto buried an irrelevant, though not completely meaningless, straight-away 3-pointer at the final buzzer.

Mancos’ Makayla Wayman (15) steps in to steal the ball from Ignacio’s Elisia Cruz (11) Tuesday evening, Jan. 11, inside IHS Gymnasium. (Joel Priest/Special to the Herald)

Nanaeto booked nine total fourth-quarter points and a team-high 15. Junior guard Laci Brunson – whose early second-quarter trey gave Ignacio their first real lead at 15-10 – tallied 13 in support. Going 5-of-6 from the charity stripe, junior forward Harmony Reynolds also finished with 13 points, while sophomore guard Darlyn Mendoza-Lechuga and freshman guard Marissa Olguin (5-13 FT) each netted 12.

Olguin’s lone triple capped a game-breaking 11-2 run early in the third quarter, as the ‘Cats expanded their lead from 24-20 at halftime to 35-22. Helped by a Quincy Montoya three-point play, Mancos closed to 39-29 entering what ended up being a high-scoring, near-free-for-all final frame.

An accurate 6-of-8 from the foul line (MHS was 15-of-26 overall), Wayman also hit double digits offensively in defeat, logging 12 points. With both of the guests’ two treys beside her name, Bayles – a transfer from 3A Montezuma-Cortez – would total 11 points, while Rhiley Montoya contributed five.

Mancos’ Quincy Montoya (5) defends Ignacio’s Marissa Olguin (3) Tuesday evening, Jan. 11, inside IHS Gymnasium. (Joel Priest/Special to the Herald)

Veach and sophomore Mandi Peacock, a fellow starter, were each held to two points, and sophomore Solymar Cosio logged IHS’ other point with one of the Lady Bobcats’ nine vital fourth-quarter FTs in 17 tries. MHS, meanwhile, went just 3-of-5 during the definitive eight regulation minutes.

Ignacio (4-4, 1-1 2A/1A San Juan Basin League, 1-0 2A SJBL) has been down-up, down-up, down-up, down-up for the 2021-22 season to-date. The team will next travel to Montezuma-Cortez on Tuesday. Having lost 53-34 at 2A No. 3 Sanford three days before arriving at IHS, the Lady Jays (4-4, 0-1, 0-1) will next see action Tuesday at Dolores.

Mancos was also scheduled to host Ridgway on Friday, and Mancos was scheduled to play in Ridgway Saturday, but both games have been postponed due to COVID-19 problems in that area. MHS reportedly will now attempt to host the Ridgway on Jan. 29. Feb. 4, has been rumored as a potential date for IHS’ trip north.