Garcia scores 27 against Ridgway
Written by: By Joel Priest
When the white-and-green sea parted, there was a black jersey eager to take advantage.
“It was very exciting,” said Ignacio’s Gabriela Garcia. “As soon as I saw my chance, I took it.”
Able to drive to the hoop last Saturday almost at will, the Lady Bobcat senior guard had Ridgway head coach Steve Hill beside himself after booking IHS’ first eight points—the last two of which taking back what had been RHS’ momentary 7-6 lead, and preceding a Garcia three and two Cloe Seibel baskets that put Ignacio up 15-7 after the first quarter.
“I don’t think I’ve ever had a game where I actually penetrated, and actually made a lot of shots as much as I did today.”
Seven more of Garcia’s game- and likely career-high 27 points helped the visiting Lady ’Cats head back into the locker room at halftime leading 24-17, and stoked for having effectively stifled the Lady Demons’ plans to attack near the basket.
And those plans changed little as the second half would show. But with a little Hill fire lit under each of their feet, the Lady Demons’ cuts around high-post screens became sharper, passes became more precise, and collective energy was elevated. Especially when it became clearer that only Garcia had the apparent killer instinct.
After a Garcia free throw partially offset a McCall Skalla basket beginning the third, Ridgway pulled to within 25-24 on a three-point play by guard Grace Benasutti and roll to the rim by forward Leta McNatt. Ignacio head coach Shane Seibel quickly called timeout, and then got the potential spark he sought for his side when Garcia promptly sliced inside for two points.
But McNatt answered, and guard Haley Crozier put in a transition layup for a 28-27 lead. McNatt (9 points) closed the quarter with a free throw, and center Rane Dickerson began the fourth with a shot from close range. Garcia countered with two free throws—she finished 8-of-10 at the stripe—but then Crozier (7 points) banked in a triple, upping the locals’ lead to 34-29, and IHS came no nearer than 40-36 before finally falling by a 43-38 margin.
Five-of-six from the foul line, Benasutti ended up the leading scorer for RHS (8-3, 5-1 SJBL) with 15 points. Dickerson and fellow post Marcina Sarmiento each had four, and McCall and Brynne Skalla each netted two. Seibel totaled nine for IHS (2-10, 0-2) and Alejandra Lujan notched the other pair.
Up next, the Lady ’Cats were to host Dolores (5-6, 2-4) Thursday evening, but results were unavailable at press time.