BAYFIELD — Stung not once, but twice by opposing center/forward Jordan Lanning’s last-second shooting at the end of a quarter, Monte Vista’s girls unluckily dropped their second 3A Intermountain League game in as many days Saturday afternoon on the road.
But that was only after senior guard Mariah Barbosa—exactly whom the hosting Lady Wolverines didn’t want to see with the ball—was narrowly off-line with her buzzer-beating three-point attempt, coming after Lanning dropped in a 14-footer with 0:03.2 remaining in an unexpected thriller, putting Bayfield up 51-49 as MVHS head coach Vicente Barbosa clamored for a timeout amidst the crowd’s roar.
Having also knocked down a jumper ending the third quarter, cutting the Lady Pirates’ lead down to 40-38 after MVHS senior Kaitlyn Porter’s second three of the stanza had put the guests up 39-29 just 2 minutes, 45 seconds earlier, Lanning finished with a team-high 15 points and a whole new level of respect from first-year skipper Josh Kitchen.
“I’m crazy proud of her as a junior to step up in a tough game, a big environment when the crowd’s loud, and attack like that…make those kinds of shots,” he said. “And I think the girls kind of followed that; it was a phenomenal effort.”
It had to be. For with Barbosa scoring seven first-quarter points, senior Tayler Chacon five and junior Hannah Jones five, Monte Vista (3-6, 0-2 IML) raced out to a 19-7 lead before BHS junior reserve post Mikayla Barnes hit back-to-back 16-footers from straight away just before time expired.
Boosted by their bench, the Lady Wolverines (3-7, 1-1) made their first of two large rallies to finally pull even at 22-22 via two close-range hoops by freshman reserve post Macee Schultz, and a putback by freshman forward/guard Halle Loveday. But starting junior guard Tymbree Florian, tasked with blanketing Barbosa, then picked up her fourth foul with 37 seconds still remaining before halftime—at which point MVHS had regained a four-point lead via two disconnected Barbosa free throws and a Chacon deuce.
Indicating that Bayfield would be ready to fight to the finish, freshman forward Kira Riley rejected Porter’s last-second attempt to keep the home fans energized. Monte Vista, however, wasted no time in declaring their ultimate intent with Porter opening the third quarter with a confident trey.
Her third and final long-distance make would put the Lady Pirates up 48-47, immediately after Lanning had briefly put BHS ahead with a breakaway layup. But after Florian fouled out with 1:26 left, senior starter Cinnamon Varnell, to that instant held scoreless, cleaned up a Schultz miss—already twice rebounded by the shooter—to re-tie the battle at 49-49 following a Barbosa free throw resulting from Florian’s disqualification.
All told, Jones’ 17 points led all players, but she was just 2-of-8 from the charity stripe—where MVHS finished just 14-of-29 (by comparison, BHS was 6-of-13). Eight-of-thirteen herself in the FT category, Barbosa totaled 13 points and Porter 11. Chacon booked eight, but Monte Vista’s bench was outscored 18-0.
Schultz and Riley each finished with eight points to go with Barnes’ four and Loveday’s two. Regulars Florian, Tiarra Christensen and Madison Wells also scored four points apiece as nine different Lady Wolverines logged at least a point.
After a non-league test Wednesday at Buena Vista (2-6 overall), the Lady Pirates will resume IML work Friday versus Montezuma-Cortez (2-8, 0-2) at home and then visit #1-ranked Centauri on Saturday.
BHS, meanwhile, will travel to #4 Pagosa Springs—7-2 overall, 2-0 IML prior to hosting 2A Sanford (6-3) tonight—on Friday, then host Alamosa on Saturday.