Bears lose district finals
Dolores falls to defending boys basketball league champion Ignacio
Top seed Dolores lead 5-1 early over Ignacio at the 2A District 3 tournament championship Saturday.
The Bobcats then found their offensive rhythm.
Ignacio rallied to take a 7-5 lead and never trailed again.
Dolores had its 12-game winning streak snapped by the team it last lost to, 68-51, at Montezuma-Cortez High School.
"They took us out of our offense, really," Dolores coach Larry Schwartz said. "They knew where we wanted to go. We couldn't handle their onslaught."
The Bears (15-6) were the San Juan Basin League regular season champions and took care of fourth-seed Ridgway last Friday night, 58-51.
Ignacio (18-5), the three seed, handled No. 2-seed Telluride 49-33 Friday, setting up a district title showdown with Dolores.
Unfortunately, the Bobcats continue to have the Bears number.
"They're just a good team. They're well coached," Schwartz said. "They hit shots when they had to. Every time we made a run and got close, they had an answer for it."
Dolores will play in the Region 5 tourney Friday against Lower Platte League regular season champ Yuma (19-2) at Grand Junction Central High School.
"It's been 10 years since we've been in a regional tournament. It's been 12 years since we've put a league banner up. We've got a lot to be excited about," Schwartz said.
The Bears trailed Ignacio 40-28 at halftime. Ignacio was led by hot shooting Adison Jones and Kelton Richmond.
The Bobcats relentlessly double teamed Dolores high scoring point guard Cody Carroll. The Bears senior had to earn most of his 14 points at the free-throw line.
A healthy Tyler Weir had a good game in the low post, scoring a game high 18.
However, whenever Dolores had momentum, Ignacio snatched it away with backbreaking 3-pointers.
The Bobcats built their biggest lead at 65-43 in the fourth quarter before winning by 17.
Richmond and Jones recorded 17 and 15 points apiece, while freshman Wyatt Hayes chipped in 13.
Dolores stamped its ticket to regionals with a hard fought win over the Ridgway Demons.
The first half was hotly contested with both teams battling back and forth. A Weir bucket before the first quarter buzzer gave Dolores a 12-9 after one. It was Weir's first game back from injury and the junior center shined.
"Tyler Weir, an awesome job coming back from a knee injury," Schwartz said. "He hadn't played in two weeks. He dominated the boards and played great offense."
Ridgway (8-12) took a 22-21 lead after a Nathan Hagemeyer runner in the lane and it appeared the Demons would lead at halftime.
But Carroll had other ideas.
Austin Blackmer was running out of time and passed to Carroll. The speedy guard quickly launched a 30-foot 3-pointer at the buzzer that swished.
Carroll confidently strutted off to the locker room with his team up 24-22.
The Bears carried that momentum into the third quarter and built their largest lead of 43-33 going into the final stanza.
Ridgway, though, just wouldn't go away.
A Weston Patton runner brought the Demons within 51-46 with 3 minutes, 13 seconds remaining. Schwartz called timeout and on the Demons next possession, Carroll stole the ball and took it coast-to-coast to give Dolores a 53-46 lead.
The Bears went onto post a 7-point win.
"It's hard to beat a team three times," Schwartz said. "We talked about having to fight them for four quarters. Our boys just persevered. That's what they've done all season."
Weir had a game high 24 points and Carroll tallied 22.
"It was a great win for not only us, but just our whole entire school," Weir said. "(At the) beginning of the season, coach told us if we bought in, we'd end up here and go further."
Hagemeyer paced Ridgway with 17 points and Corbyn Robinson poured in 10.
Ridgway was eliminated Saturday by Telluride, losing 55-51 in overtime.
Dolores faces Yuma on Friday with a starting time still to be determined.