Courier Sports Editor
PUEBLO—The Sangre de Cristo Thunderbirds rebounded from Thursday night’s loss and easily disposed of the Ignacio Bobcats here at Massari Arena on the campus of CSU-Pueblo. The Thunderbirds defeated the Bobcats 54-45 and will face off against Vangaurd at 11:30 a.m. for the Consolation Championship on Saturday.
The Thunderbirds jumped out early and they never really looked back. Less than 12 hours after being called for 30 personal fouls and three of the Thunderbirds’ five starters fouling out, Sangre de Cristo only committed 20 fouls.
Sangre de Cristo opened up the game with a scoring on their mind. They were able to jump out to a 13-6 lead at the end of the first quarter including six straight points by Sangre de Cristo junior Abbey Stagner.
The second quarter saw Sangre de Cristo open up a 27-14 halftime lead. They continued to dominate in second half as they led 40-23 at the end of three.
The Bobcats came out in the fourth quarter and went in an 8-3 run to close the gap to 43-31 lead. Sangre de Cristo countered with four points, but a deep 3-pointer and a jumper by Ignacio made the score 47-38, forcing Sangre de Cristo Head Coach Brady Stagner to call a timeout with just over three minutes left in the game.
Sangre sophomore Allie Beiriger attempted to calm her teammates as they came out of the timeout. It didn’t appear to work as Heather Dieckman was called for a foul, luckily the first part of a 1-and-1 did not fall, and Kendra Neese hit one to make it a 48-38 lead with 2:33 remaining.
With less than 2 minutes left and Ignacio head coach Justa Whitt frantically calls for a timeout. This went on for about 45 seconds of her screaming and shouting before Sangre de Cristo Head Coach Brady Stagner told the ref in the calmest way possible, “I think she wants a timeout.” The timeout was finally granted and it was worthwhile as they were able to hit a try to make it a 6-point game, 49-43 with 1:06 remaining. Kendra Neese hit three free throws in the next 30 seconds to make the score 54-43.
Senior Kathryn New, who was only able to play five minutes on Thursday night, scored 14 points. Stagner scored nine, Jessica Gimore and Beiriger, who only scored one trey, scored eight, Dieckman scored six points, both were 3-pointers. Neese scored six points, all coming in the fourth quarter. Freshman Karliegh Cooley finished with three.