Boys basketball: Jefferson Academy stunned at buzzer by Manitou Springs

The top-seeded Jefferson Academy boys basketball team was left stunned and heartbroken after a last-second 3-pointer from Manitou Springs eliminated the Jaguars.
David R. Jennings
The top-seeded Jefferson Academy boys basketball team was left stunned and heartbroken after a last-second 3-pointer from Manitou Springs eliminated the Jaguars.

BROOMFIELD — Expecting to go all the way this year, the Jefferson Academy boys basketball team was 11.3 seconds from the 3A Great 8 against Manitou Springs on Saturday afternoon.

Then the last shot changed everything.

As the clock ran out, Manitou Springs guard Chase Megyeri hit a long 3-pointer to beat the top-seeded Jaguars 36-35 at the buzzer. The heartbreaking bucket eliminated the Jaguars from the tournament and left them stricken with disbelief at their early exit.

“Our goal was to go all the way this season. We’re certainly stunned. I can’t even explain,” Jaguars senior forward Bryson Sharpley said. “I felt like our guys were right on him. He knew that he was shooting it and we made him take a difficult shot. It still went in.”

Before Megyeri’s miracle shot, the game played out decidedly in the Jaguars’ favor.

Hosting the 16th-seeded Mustangs, whom the Jaguars defeated 49-31 in the same gym on Jan. 4, the Jaguars led the entire game until just before the final buzzer sounded. They opened the game with junior guard Andrew Ullman slapping the floor to lead a defensive effort and a 3-for-3 shooting start that broke open an immediate 7-0 lead.

Jaguars junior guard Joe Raff started the game shooting 4-for-4 from long range and made five of his six 3-point attempts in the game. The Jaguars led 21-12 at halftime and even as the Mustangs were clawing their way back into the game, Sharley hit a 3-pointer as time ran out in the third quarter to give the Jaguars a seven-point lead and the momentum heading into the fourth.

“We just couldn’t get stops when we needed them at the defensive end and we couldn’t execute on offense at the end,” senior point guard and captain Reese Swanson said.

Swanson said when the Jaguars caught fire early, they were shooting the ball well from the perimeter, from which they sank seven 3-pointers in the game. But even after they had cooled off in the second half, Swanson said they continued to settle for long jump shots that weren’t falling.

The Jaguars made only four of nine free-throw attempts and though he made baskets at several crucial moments, the Mustangs limited Sharpley’s valuable scoring by keeping him out of he paint and double-teaming him immediately when he received the ball. A senior captain, Sharpley still managed to lead the Jaguars with 16 points, five rebounds and three assists.

Raff finished with 15 points, while Ullman (3 steals) and junior forward Jake Barlow combined for the Jaguars’ other four points.

Despite Saturday’s heartbreaking loss, Swanson said the Jaguars were proud of the incredible run they put together throughout the 2013-14 season.

After finishing the 2012-13 season 9-11 and getting eliminated in district play, the Jaguars skyrocketed to winning 20 games and earning the No. 1 overall seed in the state tournament. Swanson said the biggest differences were hard work in the offseason and building a powerful camaraderie with one another.

“We just became a family,” Swanson said. “After this loss, compared to last year’s season-ending loss, you can tell these guys are genuine guys that you’re playing with. It stinks that it has to end like this but it was a good group of guys that we had this year and a great season.”

Megyeri scored a game-high 17 points for the Mustangs. But his final backbreaking three at the end were the toughest to come by.

Guarding Megyeri man-to-man, Ullman pushed the Mustangs’ leading scorer five feet from the 3-point line and had a hand right up in front of Megyeri’s release. The shot just went it.

“All credit to Manitou, they defended us really well this afternoon and we had a lot of shots that seemed to go all the way down and just come back out,” Jaguars head coach Mark Sharpley said. “Once those shots stopped going in and they started to bottle us up a little bit, we got hesitant and slow in the third quarter. We almost played like we hoped the scoreboard would say zero when we were ahead but it didn’t. They hit the big shot at the end so all credit to them.

“Our kids, they had a great season. They played really, really hard. The kids put a lot of hard work in and got to reap the benefits of all the hard work and had a great season.”

Follow Brad on Twitter:


Manitou Springs 36, Jefferson Academy 35

At Jefferson Academy


Mick Prather 0 0-0 0, Ryan Admscheck 2 0-0 4, Trevor Hunt 0 2-2 2, James Finsterwald 2 0-2 4, Jared Keul 0 0-0 0, Luke Rod Holm 0 0-0 0, Drew Faloon 0 0-0 0, Steve Jensen 0 0-0 0, Andy Thompson 0 0-0 0, Danny McGee 3 0-2 6, Chase Megyeri 7 1-1 17, Austin Yost 0 0-0 0, Nik Lyles 1 0-0 3, Malachi Peterson 0 0-0 0. Totals 14 3-7 36.


Andrew Ullman 0 2-4 2, Nathan Rodriguez 0 0-0 0, Reese Swanson 0 0-0 0, Nick Grant 0 0-0 0, Taylor Teets 0 0-0 0, Bryson Sharpley 6 2-2 16, Dave Cordutsky 0 0-0 0, Jake Barlow 1 0-3 2, Dalton Hagen 0 0-0 0, Joe Raff 5 0-0 15, Brennan Ballard 0 0-0 0. Totals 12 4-9 35.

Score by quarters:

Manitou Springs 4 8 11 13 — 36

Jefferson Academy 7 14 9 5 — 35

3-point field goals — Manitou Springs (3): Chase Megyeri 2, Nik Lyles; Jefferson Academy (7): Joe Raff 5, Bryson Sharpley 2. Total fouls — Manitou Springs 11, Jefferson Academy 12.