Published: March 9, 2014
Class 3A playoffs
Manitou Springs 36, Jefferson Academy 35
At Jefferson Academy: Ken Vecchio told his players in 28 years, he'd never coached a team at a state tournament at the Air Force Academy. He'd only been there to watch other teams play.
"I told them, I always wanted to have a team there and I'd really like you guys to come this year," Vecchio said.
His players were more than willing to oblige.
Chase Megyeri hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer to give No. 16 Manitou Springs (14-10) a stunning victory over No. 1 Jefferson Academy (20-4) on Saturday to advance to the 3A state quarterfinals.
"It was weird," Vecchio said. "I told my son I watched a lot of 3s beat us, but this is the first time I seen one that has that great a chance to go in. It snapped the net and the buzzer went off."
The Mustangs will face No. 9 Faith Christian, which upset No. 8 Alamosa 45-44.
Megyeri finished with a team-high 19 points, and the Mustangs shut down the potent Jaguars, who averaged 57.2 points per game.
"Our kids played so unbelievably hard today, if we would've lost I would've felt so bad for them, especially on defense," Vecchio said. "To keep them (the Jaguars) in the 30s, we did a good job keeping the ball and played good defense when they had the ball."
Denver Science & Tech 85, St. Mary's 79, OT
At Denver S&T: No. 11 St. Mary's fought all the way back from an early 17-point deficit and finally took a lead - their only one of the game - early in overtime before falling to No. 6 Denver Science & Technology Stapleton.
"We played a very competitive basketball game," St. Mary's coach Mark Beranek said. "I'm just really proud of the effort our kids gave today."
Denver S&T (19-5) will take on Colorado Springs Christian School on Thursday at the Air Force Academy.
Alex Greenly scored a game-high 39 points - 32 in regulation - to help the Pirates (19-5) claw their way back into the game.
"We got down early in the first half, fought back, and got down in the middle of the second quarter," Beranek said. "We kept cut it to nine at half. We thought let's try and win each quarter and see what happens down stretch."
Good things happened down the stretch. The Pirates forced a couple turnovers and capitalized, plus hit some free throws to force OT with the game tied at 70.
The Pirates carried the momentum into the OT to grab their only lead at 73-72. But after that, the Knights regained the lead and never relinqueshed it.
"I think we played five OT games this year," Beranek said. "I think our kids have the mentality that we're going to play through anything we have to face. Unfortunately we got down and made some mistakes and they made plays and caused the score to get where it did."
Jimmy Velten had 14 points and Robert Delfeld, coming off a sprained ankle suffered in last week's league tournament, had 12.
"Robert played well two nights in a row coming off an ankle sprain," Beranek said. "I'm really proud of the effort he made overall."
Nathaniel Cox led the Knights with 26 points and Eisley Black added 25.
Class 3A playoffs
Manitou Springs 42, Grand Valley 37
At Manitou Springs: Halftime might not have been pleasant for No. 7 Manitou Springs, but what came out of it was.
The Mustangs turned a three-point deficit into a five-point victory in the second half over No. 10 Grand Valley following a chastising speech by coach Jon Asp, as Manitou punched its ticket to the quarterfinals.
"We were down pretty much the entire game," Asp said. "Halftime was not the best time for us.
"I told them we were down three. About the only good news is we're playing our worst half of basketball we've played all year and we're only down three points. I asked them who's beating us. They all agreed we were beating ourselves."
Sophomore Angala Jensen took a charge in the third quarter and another in the fourth to generate some momentum for the Mustangs.
The Mustangs got back to playing defense, their bread and butter, while the offense, especially at the free-throw line, started to roll.
Freshman Shelby Megyeri finished with a team-high 21 points to give the Mustangs the chance to play at the Air Force Academy on Thursday.
The Mustangs will take on No. 2 Pagosa Springs on Thursday in the quarterfinals at the Air Force Academy.
When Asp heard before the season that the state tournament would be played at the academy, he scheduled a field trip for his players. Now they'll be back but not just for fun.
"When I saw that pop up (the schedule), ... that was extremely pleasing to me," Asp said. "I had a gut feeling we would end up playing there."
Cheyenne Mountain 1, Fossil Ridge 1 (2OT)
At Fossil Ridge: Amanda Burke scored with less than a minute remaining in regulation to give Class 4A Cheyenne Mountain (1-0-1) a draw with 5A Fossil Ridge.
The Sabercats (0-0-1) scored with under 7 minutes to play on a goal by Hannah Bricker to grab the lead. But Amanda Burke answered on a header off a corner kick by Ellen Smith to earn the draw.