It wasn’t supposed to end this way for the Jefferson Academy boy’s basketball team.
The Jaguars earned the No. 1 seed in the 3A boy’s basketball State Tournament after finishing the regular season 19-3 and sweeping the Metropolitan League Tournament.
They defeated Eagle Ridge Academy 73-23 in the first round, March 7.
Everything continued to go the Jaguars’ way in the Sweet 16 match against No. 16 Manitou Springs (14-10), maintaining the advantage the entire time. However, in the last two seconds of the game, Mustangs’ senior Chase Megyeri hit a buzzer-beating 3-pointer to end the Jaguars’ season.
“It’s devastating for the kids,” Jaguars’ head coach Mark Sharpley said. “They worked really, really hard and hats off to Manitou. They played good defense. They hit a big shot at the end.”
Jefferson Academy led 30-23 at the end of the third quarter, but the Mustangs went on an 8-3 run to tighten the Jaguars’ lead by only two points, 33-31, with three minutes left in the game.
Jaguars’ six foot six senior Bryson Sharpley scored a 2-pointer, but Manitou Springs answered right back with a 2-pointer of their own.
With 11 seconds left and the Jaguars’ leading 35-33, the Mustangs’ Megyeri scored a 3-pointer from the top of the key, stealing the Jefferson Academy’s victory away from them, 36-35.
“It feels great,” Megyeri said on knocking the Jaguars out of the tournament.
“We were trying to get a back door play set up for me to go back door, but it didn’t really work. I’m a senior this year, so I knew I had to get something up. This was my last chance. I got a shot up and it went in.”
Bryson Sharpley led the Metropolitan League in blocks per game with 4.1 and was second in the 3A division with 4.1 He also led the league in rebounds per game with 9.2 and was fifth in the league in points per game with 17.3.
“He had an outstanding year,” coach Mark Sharpley said of his son.
“He had another good game today. He had a good career here.”
Jefferson Academy junior guard Joe Raff was second in the 3A division in 3-pointers and junior guard Andrew Ullman was fourth in the 3A division with free throws.
Along with Bryson Sharpley, the Jaguars will also be losing seniors guard Reese Swanson, guard Nick Grant, forward Dave Cordutsky and forward/center Brennan Ballard.
Bryson Sharpley declined an interview with Colorado Community Media.