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Jays’ Js put Mancos well clear of Ignacio

Veach nets five treys, 22 points in 25-point win
Ignacio's Phillip Quintana (10) looks to get past Mancos' Kail Wayman (1) across midcourt and into the offensive end to set up a play during IHS' 67-42 home loss on Thursday. (Courtesy Joel Priest)

Even if Brian Veach was delinquent in paying Ignacio High School actual rent for living out on the left wing of the basketball court, the Bobcats couldn’t find a way Thursday night to evict him.

Catching fire almost immediately in Mancos’ visit to Ignacio, the senior guard drained a devastating five 3-pointers – all during the first half, which ended with the guests up 36-23 – and racked up a game-high 22 points as the Blue Jays defeated their former league rival, 67-42.

Ignacio (3-3 overall, 0-0 3A/4A Intermountain) traveled to 2A foe Sargent the following night. The Blue Jays (2-1 overall, 0-0 2A/1A San Juan Basin) gained momentum for a trip to Del Norte on Saturday.

Senior guard Chris Medina splashed two second-quarter treys and ended up with 11 points, while junior forward Kaiden Wyatt ground the Bobcats down for good with six fourth-quarter points, totaling 14.

“We’re just now coming together,” said Mancos coach Dusty Veach. “We really only had eight practices with everybody – because of football, and congratulations to them – so we’re just now starting to catch our stride. Guys are just now getting healthy, so we’re still building.”

Veach sent a statement early with a game-opening 3-pointer, but with both Medina and senior Kail Wayman receiving two personal fouls apiece, Chris Valdez’s Bobcats battled. Senior center Gabe Cox operated inside and registered seven points, sophomore Trace Crane made a 3-pointer and tallied five points, and senior Trajan Garcia sank a left-wing jumper late, giving 3A Ignacio a brief 14-13 lead before Veach tied it up with a free throw.

Mancos sophomore Cory Carver started the second stanza with a go-ahead trey, and 2A Mancos never trailed again.

Veach converted an old-fashioned three-point play with 5:49 left until halftime, and Wyatt followed with a cleanup hoop – inflating the guests’ pad to 25-16.

Garcia sank a 3-pointer, but Medina answered with a free throw and then his first 3-pointer, giving the Jays their first double-digit lead at 29-19. His aforementioned second triple led into intermission, and the foul-plagued Bobcats, outscored 22-9 in the second quarter, found consistency only in Cox.

Trying to will Ignacio back into the fight, Cox scored all 11 of the home team’s third-quarter points, but five Jays combined for 15 and the contest reached the fourth quarter with Mancos in control, 51-34.

Mancos senior Andrew Jaime then restarted play booking a trey and a deuce, while Ignacio got a bucket from Crane as the margin expanded to 56-36, well before Bobcat senior guard Phillip Quintana fouled out with 4:40 remaining.

All told, Jaime netted nine points in Mancos’ victory. Wayman contributed six points, while Carver ended up with his three.

Crane ended up with seven points for Ignacio in defeat. Cox, meanwhile, gamely equaled Veach’s 22 points.

“We knew we couldn’t stop him – we’re not big enough – so we just figured if we let him score, we’d have to stop everybody else,” said Dusty Veach. “And that’s what we did.”

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