Two recognizable names put Manitou Springs boys’ basketball back in a familiar spot – the win column.
Seniors Chase Megyeri, younger brother of graduated star Jesse, and standout quarterback-turned-forward Chad Sienknecht combined for 35 points to propel the Mustangs past Pikes Peak 3A No. 3 St. Mary’s 62-46 Thursday night in the Pirates’ home gym and give the visitors their first victory of the season.
Megyeri pumped in three 3-pointers in a row over a span of 2 minutes, 21 seconds early in the second quarter to turn a 13-8 advantage into a 22-9 lead. The host Pirates (1-3) would not get any closer, thanks in large part to Sienknecht, who consistently recorded important points whenever St. Mary’s started to put together a run.
“(Chad) has a big ol’ body, and he can hit the baby jump hook,” said Mustangs coach Ken Vecchio. “Chase has the potential to step up and hit shots, and he did tonight.”
It was Megyeri’s 3-pointers that proved to be the dagger in the fourth quarter when he drained two in as many possessions over a 27-second span to make it 55-33 with 5:59 left in the nonconference game.
“I feel like I can make those big shots, but I am more focused on making the rest of the team better with good passes to the open man,” Megyeri said.
That approach led to the good ball distribution the Mustangs (1-3) showed at times with the relatively inexperienced team moving its feet and generating opportunities along the outside.
“That is typical Manitou Springs basketball,” said St. Mary’s coach Mark Beranek. “What I like about their team is how they all play in the team concept. They set up plays to get the ball to the open man. They move the ball well.”
Trailing 22-9, St. Mary’s had an opportunity to work back into it in the second quarter, but made only 5-of-13 free-throw attempts as the Mustangs pulled away for a 37-20 halftime advantage. The Pirates were led by nine points each from seniors Ben Cloud and Daniel Padrnos.
“They made 3s and we could not hit free throws,” Beranek said. “We could have made that deficit a little different if we had made those.”
“This is a big win for us,” Sienknecht said. “We have a lot of guys playing varsity for the first time and we are starting to flow together. We can start winning a lot more games, I hope.”