Playing against Dolores for the first time in their high school careers on Feb. 19, Mancos High School freshmen Teya Yeomans and Quincy Montoya relished the intensity that came from the rivalry matchup and turned in standout performances.
The result was a one-sided victory for young duo’s team as the Lady Jays pulled ahead early and never looked back during a 46-27 victory over the Lady Bears in Dolores on Feb. 20.
“Beating a team in their home gym is always special, especially when that team is your rival,” said Yeomans, who scored a game-high 12 points. “In past years, we haven’t really beat (Dolores), but this year, we came in and we knew we could win.”
“We came in here and we just wanted to win,” added Quincy Montoya, who scored nine points and knocked down a long 3-pointer in the second half. “We wanted to blow them out of the water.”
While the performance of Mancos’ star freshmen played a key role in their victory, so, too, did the team’s ability to pressure the ball on the defensive end thanks to senior Tia Imel and junior Rhiley Montoya, who played lockdown defense and came up with numerous steals.
An 8-0 run by the Lady Jays to begin the contest that featured a pull up jumper by senior Madi Hale, two free throws by Quincy Montoya, a transition layup by Rhiley Montoya and a layup by Imel set the tone as Mancos found itself ahead 17-5 after one quarter of play.
Although a 3-pointer by junior Allie Kibel and a baseline jumper by senior Sydney Smith to begin the second quarter gave the Lady Jays hope, Mancos quickly regained its composure and scored numerous fast break buckets before halftime to pull ahead 25-13 heading into the break.
“That’s what we do best, we steal the ball,” said Quincy Montoya, when asked about her team’s defense and fast breaking style. “We’re faster than most teams up and down the court and that’s what we try to take advantage of.”
As the second half got underway and Lady Jays remained in control, Dolores made several attempts to close the gap as Smith, senior Samantha Castillo and Ashaunee Begay all scored buckets during a third quarter that ended with Mancos leading 31-21.
A 3-pointer by Rhiley Montoya to begin the final quarter put Mancos ahead 34-21 and a 3-pointer by Quincy Montoya later in the quarter put the Lady Jays ahead 38-22 and sealed the team’s big win.
“It was really big, we did not have our best game against Ignacio,” Quincy Montoya said. “We came into this game wanting to show that we can compete.”
Joining Yeomans and Quincy Montoya in the scoring column for Mancos were Hale, who scored 11 points, Rhiley Montoya, who scored seven points, senior Lizzy Mee, who scored four points and Americus Romero-Keller, who chipped in three points.
Dolores was led offensively by Castillo, who scored eight points, Kibel, who netted seven points and Smith, who scored six points.
Now 1-4 on the season and 0-2 in the SJBL, Dolores will return to action on Feb. 20 when it takes its home floor against Ouray. Mancos will put its 3-2 overall record and 2-1 SJBL record on the line when it hits the road to face Montezuma-Cortez High School on Feb. 23.