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Second-half surge propels Ignacio girls to win over Mancos

Olguin sparks 35-30 comeback win over Mancos
Ignacio's Maci Barnes (1) and Darlyn Mendoza-Lechuga (0) celebrate the Lady Bobcats' 35-30 home win Thursday evening over Mancos. (Courtesy Joel Priest)

If Mancos coach Kerri Morgan was happy at all about the first half of the Blue Jays’ road game Thursday evening, it was probably the fact that her players had blanked Ignacio for the entire second quarter to go up at halftime.

Meanwhile, Ignacio coach Trae Seibel certainly wasn’t pleased with much … in hindsight, neither were his players – who definitely didn’t want to lose inside their own building to their former league rival.

Despite finishing just 10 of 24 from the charity stripe, Ignacio went 8 of 16 during the fourth quarter and secured a 35-30 victory.

Darlyn Mendoza-Lechuga scored 12 of her game-high 13 points in the fourth.

The Lady Bobcats improved to 3-3 overall (0-0 in 3A/4A Intermountain) prior to visiting Sargent the following evening, while Mancos slipped to 4-2 (0-0 in 2A/1A San Juan Basin).

The Lady Jays shot 12 of 18 from the foul line.

Sophomore guard Claire Goodwin totaled 12 points, and senior forward Teya Yeomans 10. One trey to her name, Montoya ended up with five points and senior Haylie Higgins chipped in a vital fourth-quarter bucket.

“Claire’s a phenomenal basketball player, and so is Quincy, but our guard defense – and our post defense – stepped up tonight,” Seibel said. “We’re a man-to-man team, so we wanted to be in good help (side defense), but we also wanted to put our fast guards up on them to deny and pressure the basketball, get them frustrated as much as we could.”

With the Lady Jays up 14-6 early in the third quarter, Ignacio began battling back when senior guard Maci Barnes knocked down a 3-pointer with 5:42 left in the third, bringing the Lady ’Cats back to 14-10.

Mancos quickly rebuilt its lead to 19-10 with 4:30 left via a trey by Goodwin, but Ignacio junior Marissa Olguin’s first two long-ball made it a 19-16 game.

Yeomans made one of two free throws – resulting from Cosio picking up her third foul – with 1:56 to go, but Olguin struck again with 22 seconds left, shrinking the deficit down to 20-19 heading into the fourth frame.

Yeomans and Mendoza-Lechuga swapped baskets to begin, and after Mancos senior Quincy Montoya fouled out with 4:37 left in regulation, Ignacio at last pulled even 14 seconds later when Mendoza-Lechuga, fouled on a shot by junior Randi Lewis, converted a three-point play to tie the score at 24.

She’d sink two more free throws with 3:36 left for a 26-24 lead, but the Lady Jays regained a 28-27 lead via two Goodwin free throws with 1:57 left, and Olguin having just fouled out.

But after the dangerous Goodwin, held to just one 3-pointer and no baskets from inside the arc, made a free throw tying the contest at 29-29, Cosio drained a long jumper with 1:02 remaining, and the Bobcats regained the lead for good.

Finishing with four fouls, but having scored five of Ignacio’s six first quarter points (IHS had led 6-3 through the opening eight minutes), Barnes matched Olguin’s nine points.

“They came into halftime not satisfied with their play, and I wasn’t satisfied either,” Seibel said. “We made some adjustments as a team, and the guards took over as a whole … put our team in a position to win because they were aggressive to make plays. What a great team win for these girls.”

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