Wolverines burn out against IHS
Written by: Joel Priest
Well aware of his roots, the tall drink in boots strolled in like on Jordans of Air.
The first one to know, but last one to show anything to make â€™em think that he cared.
Knew that there would be boos, but delivered bad news with a feller â€™twas nicknamed â€˜C.J.â€™
And when all was throughâ€”sixty-six, forty-twoâ€”there was but one thing left he could say.
â€œItâ€™s just like aâ€¦almost like a â€˜homecomingâ€™ to me because I live here,â€ said Ignacio center/forward Justin Carver, still probably with friends in both places [heâ€™d attended middle school in Bayfield] even after the Bobcatsâ€™ win inside BHS Gymnasium over the Wolverines.
â€œSo it was really fun to come â€˜home,â€™ beat â€™em on their home court,â€ said the junior, having scored 14 points down low while teammate Clayton Jefferson provided balance from the outside with a game-high 19. â€œAnd get revengeâ€¦after last year, being injured [2:09 left, third quarter in 2012 at IHS].â€
Revenge was slow in coming, however, as Bayfield did not let the â€™Cats shock-and-awe potential develop beyond a 9-3 lead in the first quarter. Sophomore Adison Jones (nine points) connected on a short-range jumper after Carver won the tipâ€”not exactly good omens for BHSâ€”but counterpart Tyler Kerr answered with an inside basket for the early tie.
Ignacio took its aforementioned six-point lead later on a Kelton Richmond trey, but the Wolverines roared back to trail just 13-10 on a Geoff Pope three with a second before the buzzer.
â€œWe came out with the right intensity; we were down by three at one point, tried keeping it,â€ said Kerr, who fought for seven points, â€œbut we got in some foul troubleâ€¦at the end of the half, and just couldnâ€™t hold on to it at the end. Turnover after turnover.â€
â€œYou know, I thought we came out a little sluggishâ€¦couldnâ€™t get that lead we needed to get them to start panicking a little,â€ IHS head coach Chris Valdez said. â€œWe wanted to do that early, but we didnâ€™t.â€
And Bayfield gained another potential boost when Carver was tagged with his third personal foul shortly after the second quarter began. The only drawback was that it served as a wake-up to the Bobcats.
Jefferson and reserves Bo Ward and Anthony Manzanares each struck from downtown in the quarter, and Jones added another bucket to stay a visible threat as Ignacioâ€™s lead grew to 29-18 [the scoreboard read 30, but multiple score sheets showed a missed free throwâ€”by either Jefferson or freshman guard Wyatt Hayesâ€”mistakenly marked as a make] at the half.
Showing no signs of slowing, Jefferson immediately converted a steal into a layup beginning the third, Carver followed with a weakside clean-up of a Richmond miss, and Jefferson knifed through for another lay-in, forcing BHSâ€™ Bill Hesford to call timeout with 6:11 left.
But not even a full minute later the scoreboard showed 41-20 (40, actually) after a Jefferson three-pointer, and with Richmond chipping in five of his eight points the visitors breezed into the fourth leading by an assumed 54-28 count.
Wasting no time, Jones sank the proverbial dagger deep with a left-wing three on IHSâ€™ first possession, for all practical purposes putting the Wolverines down for goodâ€”despite strong finishes by sophomores Dillon Hoselton (eight points) and Trevor Gabbard (seven). Pope finished with five, and center Preston Hardy nine (5-10 FT) against an array of Carver, Jones, Austin Haire and even Nick Herrera.
Hayes finished with seven for IHS, Haire had two, and reserve Tucker Ward hit a late free throw.
â€œWe were able to hit some shots and continue to open the margin,â€ said Valdez. â€œWe havenâ€™t been finishing off games down the stretch and I was happy to see us do that.â€
With a third straight lossâ€”Centauri and Alamosa had visited and prevailed last Friday [67-51], and Saturday [53-43] respectivelyâ€”the 3A Wolverines dropped to 2-13 overall (still 0-4 Intermountain) before hosting Monte Vista (6-7, 1-3), themselves also on a three-game slide, tonight.
Ignacio improved to 12-3, still 4-0 in the 2A/1A San Juan Basin heading into tomorrowâ€™s league game with Mancos (7-7, 6-4), with a challenge from 1A Monticello, Utah, awaiting the â€™Cats on Feb. 12.
â€œHopefully all goes well and we all play together,â€ said Carver.