Del Norte sophomore Morgan Mosby (20) attempts to shoot a jump shot even though Sanford senior Kelli Canty (34) applies pressure. Mosby scored eight points in the Tigers' 32-30 defeat of the Indians.
Courier Sports Editor
Tigers hold off Indians in final seconds
DEL NORTE— Despite a 10-0 run in the final quarter, the Sanford Lady Indians could not counter a defensive show by the Del Norte Lady Tigers as Del Norte was victorious, 32-30, in Southern Peaks League action here at Tigers’ Fieldhouse on Saturday evening.
With just over four minutes remaining in the final quarter of the game, the Indians found themselves trailing 32-20 and after a quick six points by the Indians, Tiger Head Coach Laurice Butler called a timeout to attempt to break the building momentum.
That didn’t help much as junior Bailee Canty found herself at the free throw line but because she was unable to convert, junior Alli Butler, who had four rebounds throughout the game, was fouled and did not convert giving the ball back to Sanford with 1:06 remaining.
Canty missed a wide-open 3-point shot attempt forcing a turnover by Sanford with 41.7 seconds. With the clock showing 23 seconds, Del Norte senior Kassidy Jones could not hit a break-away lay-up allowing Indian Head Coach Blake Canty to call a timeout.
Canty shot an air ball with the clock showing 13 seconds and after some battling Sanford was awarded the ball after it flew out of bounds. With eight seconds left sophomore Jaycee Canty scored two points to make the score 32-30. The Tigers knowingly made two quick passes to run the final ticks off the clock to seal the win.
The Del Norte defensive played up close to the Indian offensive players and created 41 total turnovers in the game, including 23 in the first quarter.
In the first quarter the Indians were only able to score five points, all coming off fast breaks when they were able to catch the Tiger defense in transition after key rebounds.
They Tigers took a 12-5 lead after sophomore Morgan Mosby led the team with six field goals. In the second quarter, the Indians were able to close the gap to 12-8 but there again turnovers hurt them.
Jones hit two wide-open 3-pointers to help another 12-point quarter stake them out to a 24-16 lead at the halftime break. The Indians went 7-of-8 from the free throw line to keep them in the game.
The third quarter was a defensive quarter with the Tigers scoring four and the Indians scoring two.
The Tigers, who improved to 6-5 overall and 2-0 in the SPL, committed 18 turnovers and 16 personal fouls while shooting 15-of-45 (33.3 percent) from the field and missing all nine free throw attempts. As a team, they nabbed 20 boards.
Jones was the game’s high-scorer with 12 points while Mosby scored four field goals for eight points. Butler scored six points while freshman Josie Sanchez, sophomore Kaitlin Martinez and junior Suzie Hand scored two points each.
The Indians, who are now 4-7 overall and 1-2 in the SPL, converted on 8-of-12 (66.6 percent) from the charity stripe while connecting on 11-of-28 (39.2 percent) of their shots. They committed 13 personal fouls while gathering 34 rebounds.
Jaycee Canty led the scorers for Sanford with seven points while senior Kelli Canty was held to just five points. Juniors Tara Crowther, Tess Mortensen and Josie Larsen each contributed four points and seniors Makenna Canty and Nicole Salazar joined Bailee Canty with two points apiece. Larsen was responsible for ten rebounds while Kelli Canty gathered eight.
The Tigers return to action Friday when they travel to Antonito and Saturday when they travel to Sierra Grande.
The Indians will have just one contest this week as they travel to Sargent to take on the Farmers.
Lady Thunderbirds soar past Lady Trojans
MOSCA—Saturday night’s SPL contest between Sangre de Cristo and Antonito was only a contest for the first couple of minutes before the Sangre de Cristo Thunderbirds easily took an 83-15 win here at Sangre de Cristo High School.
The Thunderbirds had 11 scorers on the night including five who were in double digits. The high scorer was senior Kathryn New, who scored 14 points. Senior Kendra Neese and sophomore Allie Beiriger each scored 12 points and Jessica Gilmore and Heather Dieckman scored ten points each.
The Trojans were led by Bianca Duran, who scored five points. Toni Quintana and Kodie Standefer each scored four points while Erin Vargas scored two points.
The Thunderbirds, who were ranked No. 10 in last week’s Class 2A rankings, improve to 10-2 overall and a perfect 4-0 in the SPL while the Trojans fall to 4-6 overall and 0-2 in the league standings.
The Trojans will have three games this week starting Thursday when they host Escalante (N.M.). They will then host Del Norte on Friday and South Park on Saturday.
The Thunderbirds travel to Center on Thursday and Custer County on Saturday.
Loss of Eagles hampers SHS girls
By Joel Priest
Special to the Courier
IGNACIO—With the pro-grade portion of the Turquoise Circuit (which comes to Alamosa in June) slate soon to start for Sherry Cervi, the WPRA’s career earnings leader and one of her rodeo heroes, Skylar Eagles appeared already in a postseason form Saturday evening on the basketball court.
Proving her paint-worthiness in Ignacio against Lady Bobcat seniors Mariah Vigil and Valerie Armstrong during a solid first half—though Sargent trailed 15-9 after the first quarter and 25-17 after the second—the Lady Farmer junior was removed from her team’s rallying with 2:59 left in the third, after crashing onto the IHS Gymnasium hardwood battling for a defensive rebound.
“Well we’ve been working on ball pressure and rebounding really hard. So it was starting to work our way…and then they kind of got around on us,” she said, alluding to IHS expanding their halftime lead to 30-19 to that point in the contest. “We had to stop that—and then I fell and I hit my head pretty hard, and Coach [Aaron Christensen, former long-time skipper at Creede] wouldn’t put me back in the game.”
Most definitely a wise move for the long run. But surprisingly, not a morale-crusher for SHS.
“It’s always tough,” said senior guard Camrey Garoutte, “but you’ve just got to push through it, play your hardest no matter what. It was hard, but….”
But the Lady Farmers took to the task with renewed resolve, fighting back to 32-28 through 24 regulation minutes on late baskets inside by sophomore Kelci Van Treese and senior Savannah Plane.
“I think we did great…we just need to keep working hard throughout, and finish the whole game,” said Van Treese, who finished with six points (Plane totaled eight) in a 46-32 non-league loss.
“Our defensive pressure really boosted up,” said speedy Lady ’Cat sophomore guard Sky Cotton, who suddenly dropped ten points—six on ‘cherry-pick’ layups set up by rebounding and impressive full-court throws by senior Michelle Simmons—in the fourth to help Ignacio lead by as much as 16, and give her a game-high 15. “And then, once we got into it, we started rolling and keeping it going.”
“Sargent just went out there and played their game and we played ours,” she continued, addressing IHS’ full-court pressure (she and Simmons totaled 12 steals). “And in the end we came out on top.”
Simmons finished with 12 points and eight boards, and junior Cloe Seibel added eight points.
“We got a little worried there for a second, but we pulled back our defense and switched it up a little bit—put the ‘12 Half’ on, and it worked good…gave them a new look they weren’t expecting,” said IHS head coach Justa Whitt. “So I think that helped…really got us that extra ‘oomph’ we needed.”
That, and a SHS lineup without Eagles (ten points). Although the odds were very nearly evened when Ignacio’s Pam Cotton—in her second game back after an ACL injury back in December—hit the deck late in the fourth with a ‘crack’ audible in all expanses of the venue.
Fortunately for the Lady ’Cats (6-7, 2-1 2A/1A San Juan Basin) the sound was just that of her knee brace making contact with the floor and not a bone break, though the pain produced pressed Whitt into preemptively pulling the senior forward. And like Eagles, she did not return as a precaution.
“Yeah I think we did, overall, pretty good,” said Garoutte, who scored five points. “Just need to control our turnovers, make smart passes…and I think we’ll be fine after that. We just have work to do.”
Visiting Ignacio after a 54-27 loss to Sangre de Cristo the evening before, Sargent dipped to 2-7 overall, but still 1-1 in the Southern Peaks with a Feb. 1 trip to Fairplay to face South Park (3-7, 1-2), and a Feb. 2 home game against Sanford (4-7, 1-2) up next on the 2012-13 itinerary"
“We’re a young team, have our ups and downs, but we’ll get it,” said Eagles.
“These [1/25 vs. SdC, 1/26 at IHS] were rough, but we won’t face that much pressure for a while,” she added. “I think they prepared us; we’ll be ready for when we do face pressure again.”
South Park 29
Custer County 48,
Sierra Grande 37
Indians dominate Tigers with ease
DEL NORTE—First place in the Southern Peaks League appeared as if it would be a close contest here at Tiger Fieldhouse on Saturday evening. Instead of it being a close game, the Sanford Indians easily strode in and out with a dominating 55-32 win.
The Tigers, who went 10:06 of game time between buckets, fell to 4-6 overall and 2-1 in SPL action. The Indians, who are ranked No. 6 in Class 2A, improved to 9-2 overall and a perfect 3-0 in SPL action.
Sanford connected on 23-of-49 (46.9 percent) of their shots from the field including 2-of-13 (18 percent) from beyond the 3-point line. They hit 7-of-15 (46 percent) of their free throws while gathering 39 rebounds. They only committed nine turnovers and 14 personal fouls.
The Indians only connected on 12-of-37 (32.4 percent) of their field goal attempts including a drought of 0-for-7 from 3-point land. They did hit 8-of-16 (50 percent) of their free throw attempts and gathered 21 rebounds. They committed 13 personal fouls and 15 turnovers.
Freshman Chance Canty was a force that just could not be controlled in the game. He steamrolled his way around the court and nailed 10 field goals, a 3-pointer and was 3-of-4 from the free throw line for 26 total points. He also converted a double-double by gathering 17 rebounds. He also had three blocked shots, two assists and three steals.
Sophomore Clayton Peterson scored 10 points while freshman Miles Caldon scored eight. Sophomore Brett Crowther scored four points while sophomore Dustin Faucette, junior Calder Larsen and junior Dalton Rodriguez each scored two. Freshman Griffen Peterson scored a single point.
Senior Colin Trujillo led the Tigers with 11 points while senior Kris Lohr, who led with 11 rebounds, scored eight points. Sophomores Matt Mueller, Keegan Leckler and Hayden Bell each scored four points. Sophomore Cody Hicks also scored one point.
The game started off looking like it would be a defensive struggle for both teams. The Indians were the first team to score two minutes into the contest. A Lohr bucket a minute and a half later tied the game.
A minute later, the Indians finally figured out how to score and they went on a 11-0 run to close out the quarter to take a 13-2 lead into the second quarter.
The Indians held the Tigers off the scoreboard until 57 seconds were left in the second quarter while scoring 21 points including 10 from Canty. With Sanford taking a 30-point lead into the halftime break, it appeared like it would be smooth sailing to the end.
The Tigers came out firing and not even a minute into the third quarter passed before they doubled their first half score. They would outscore Sanford 16-10 in the third quarter and 12-11 in the fourth quarter.
The Tigers will have two good games on their hands this week as they face Antonito on Friday and Sierra Grande on Saturday. Both games will be on the road.
The Indians will trek across the Valley to face Sargent.
Thunderbirds defeat Trojans for third SPL win
MOSCA—The Sangre de Cristo Thunderbirds rebounded from Friday night’s loss at Sargent with a 56-33 win over the visiting Antonito Trojans on Saturday.
Jon Mondragon was the high scorer for the Trojans with 14 points while Sangre senior Mitchell Stagner scored 19 points.
The game was decently close until a 21-point outburst came from Sangre de Cristo in the third quarter.
The Thunderbirds, who are now 8-4 overall and 3-1 in the SPL, will play at Center on Thursday and at Custer County on Saturday.
The Trojans, like their girls, will have three games this week.
Howard buzzer beater lifts Panthers
BLANCA—The Sierra Grande Panthers overcame a late rush by the Custer County Bobcats on Saturday evening and a 3-pointer at the buzzer by senior Victor Howard lifted the home team to a 60-59 SPL win here at Sierra Grande High School.
The Panthers, who took a 10-point lead into the halftime break, allowed the Bobcats to come roaring back in the quarter.
A tightly contested third quarter had Custer County closing the gap to 49-41.
The visiting team came back and went on an 18-8 run to take a 2-point lead with just over 6 seconds remaining. The Panthers used their speed and found Howard open for the electrifying 3-pointer for the win.
The Panthers opened the game like they usually do by using their speed to get an early lead. They led 18-9 entering the final 30 seconds of the first quarter but two quick steals by the Bobcats helped them close the gap to 20-14 after one.
A quick 3-pointer by Custer County to open the second quarter closed the gap to just three points, 20-17.
The score remained steady for two minutes of defensive action before the Bobcats took a 21-20 lead with 4:36 showing on the clock.
The Panthers countered with a 3-pointer of their own and a Howard steal and coast-to-coast fast break bucket to give them a lead, 25-21. The game would quickly be tied at 24 with three minutes left before the Panthers opened up their 10-point halftime lead.
The Panthers improved to 9-3 overall and 3-1 in the SPL sit in a 2-way tie for second place with the Sangre de Cristo Thunderbirds.
Farmer crop topped in Ignacio, 60-45
By Joel Priest
Special to the Courier
IGNACIO—It’s been said (and sung) that ‘one’ is the loneliest number.
And indeed, the young man fortunate to score Sargent’s only first-quarter point—while wearing the lowest positive integer on his black jersey—almost had to feel like company (or, more importantly, help) was never close enough Saturday night in Ignacio.
“We came out a little slow; the first quarter I think we were down, one to 18 or something,” said senior Scott Dillon, roofed by IHS junior Kelton Richmond on the final Farmer shot of the first—and then from behind, again by Richmond, on the first try in the second. And helping maintain a rapid early tempo typical for the Bobcats, Richmond coldly drilled a three-pointer in between his swats, putting Ignacio ahead 19-1 with 6:45 left in the half. IHS’ lead through eight minutes was actually 16-1.
“After that,” said Dillon, who poured in ten fourth-quarter points, netting him a game co-high 17, “we…kept in it our way. So if we take away that first quarter I think it’s a lot closer of a game.”
And after having seen his ’Cats take their collective paw off the gas during the third and fourth, IHS head coach Chris Valdez was in virtual agreement with the Farmer’s assessment despite a 60-45 win.
“We go back, AGAIN…you know, ‘Here we go again’ with our defense,” he said, alluding to Ignacio’s previous two outings, including a 63-49 loss Jan. 22 at home to Class 3A power Pagosa Springs in which the ’Cats led 18-10 after one and 30-26 through two. “I look and I watch, try to figure out this young team, and it just seems like we’re playing real passively defensively.”
“You know, we had a 24-point lead just into the third quarter a little ways, and we relinquished it,” he continued. “But we held tough…and I really think our team is going to come out of this learning and moving forward.”
“Sargent…yeah, they’re a tough team,” said Richmond. “A top team in the state probably.”
Senior Austin Dillon finished with 14 points, including two treys—as did Scott Dillon—and 4-of-4 shooting from the charity stripe, while Nate Ramirez and junior Jace Bogle each scored their five points in the second half—when the Farmers crept back to as close as 42-31 on a free-wheeling Scott Dillon drive.
“The thing about Sargent is that we always work a hundred percent no matter what the score is—it’s always zero-zero for us,” said Ramirez, a senior. “So we worked hard after they got a quick lead, and we just kept pushin’.”
“We hit some shots, kept driving, got a lot of fouls called…but we missed free throws,” he added. “That’s what it came down to.”
62 percent (13-of-21) from the foul line did leave much to be desired, but SHS’ ultimate undoing was the Bobcats’ knack to hit the long ball. Starting the game, and ending it with makes by freshman Wyatt Hayes (11 points), Ignacio sank eight from beyond the arc—with Richmond canning five to help him equal Scott Dillon’s scoring output.
6-foot, 5 junior center Justin Carver’s rare, straight-away dagger in the second quarter’s closing moments, however, may have been the most damaging—increasing IHS’ lead to 29-13, while threatening Sargent with an all-out explosion on the scoreboard.
Junior point guard Clayton Jefferson scored 14 for the ’Cats, sophomore forward Adison Jones totaled 11 and Carver seven as Ignacio’s bench, totaling zero points, was seldom summoned.
“Our coach [Justin Fricke], he says this is a good ‘measuring stick,’” said Dillon. “This is how we measure up to the best teams in the state; Ignacio is one of the best…so it was a good finding-out of where we are, and how much better we need to improve to contend.”
“Sangre was a good game [a 56-34 Sargent home win the night before], a hard game—they’re a good team, but we played our heart out,” Ramirez said. “And we did it tonight; it just didn’t work out for us too much. Wouldn’t blame it on the drive, wouldn’t blame it on fatigue, because we worked hard. I’d just blame it on our defense tonight; their bigs are strong.”
“Five guys who can step outside, knock down a three,” Valdez said after eighth-ranked(Colorado Preps; No. 7 in the Denver Post’s coaches’ poll) Ignacio improved to 9-3 (2-0 Class 2A/1A San Juan Basin) overall, “makes your team really dangerous.”
Now 4-6 overall, but still 2-1 in the Southern Peaks, the Farmers will have a few days to regroup before beginning the February stretch run on the 1st in Fairplay against the South Park Burros, before returning for a crucial clash at home with Sanford on the 2nd.
And Sargent must discount neither; after the Indians’ 55-32 win Saturday at Del Norte, Sanford—Colorado Preps’ No. 6 (fourth in the Post’s polling) in 2A going in—and SP (victorious at Center, 46-38) are now a combined 15-5 this season.
La Veta 61,