Published: March 13, 2014
The Manitou Springs boys' basketball team suffered the same fate as its girls' team Thursday night at the Air Force Academy - the ball just wouldn't go in the basket.
The 16th-seeded Mustangs (14-11) struggled from the field in a 50-30 loss to No. 9 Faith Christian (17-8). When Manitou Springs needed its outside shots to fall the most, the perimeter game abandoned it. The Mustangs made only two 3-pointers all game, four below their season average.
"The 3 is obviously a big part of our game, but we can score in other ways," said Manitou Springs senior Chase Megyeri, who was the only Mustang in double figures with 10 points. "There are some nights we just don't shoot well, and tonight was one of those nights. But I think we all gave a really good effort."
The effort was certainly there, as Manitou Springs continually tried to claw back from a deficit all game.
A 3-pointer was the reason the Mustangs were playing Thursday night - they upset overall tournament No. 1 seed Jefferson Academy with a Megyeri deep shot at the buzzer last weekend. But against the Eagles, the magic ran out.
"Faith Christian is good, and that Metro League in Denver is very good, but we had our chances and every time we made a little run something happened that we didn't need," Manitou Springs coach Ken Vecchio said. "We were close to where we needed to be, and got the shots we wanted, they just didn't go down."
Faith Christian was the more poised team on the offensive end all game, converting with precision passing and solid execution. When Manitou Springs did score, it couldn't get a stop on the other end of the court.
The Eagles gradually built the lead from six after one quarter to eight at the half, and then it ballooned to 12 after three quarters. Manitou Springs simply didn't have enough answers.
To make matters worse, Megyeri was injured on a hard play under the basket midway through the third quarter with his team trailing by eight. No foul was called, and by the time he returned it was 37-25.
"I drove to the basket and got smacked in the eye and it was a blur from there," said Megyeri, who was already sporting a black eye after the game. "There was a little blood, but I'll be ready to play tomorrow."
The Mustangs - who have already overachieved by making it to the final eight as the No. 16 seed - will try to finish the season on a high note in the consolation bracket.
"We'll wind it up and go again tomorrow," Vecchio said. "This is a tough and resilient bunch and they'll come back hard tomorrow."