The Gazette Girls' Basketball 3A-A Peak Performer of the Year: Shelby Megyeri, Manitou Springs
Shelby Megyeri's days as leader of the Manitou Springs girls' basketball team are over, but she sure left her mark.
After four wildly successful seasons - which saw Megyeri break several school records and help her team annually to at least the 3A state quarterfinals - she will go down as the best female basketball player in Manitou Springs history.
She's now been named The Gazette 3A-A Girls' Basketball Peak Performer of the Year three seasons in a row, and holds the Manitou Springs career records for points, assists and steals.
"I honestly never thought I'd win three of these in a row, but it's an honor, and I'm very happy about it," she said.
Megyeri finished with 1,651 points in her high school career, including a 17.8 points-per-game average during her senior year.
She averaged 15 or more points in all four of her seasons at the helm of the Mustangs, and the program amassed an 82-23 mark during that time.
"That record, and going to state four times, is a big accomplishment, and we made school history together as a team and that's an amazing feeling," Megyeri said. "The main thing that will stick out was playing in the state championship game. That was always a dream of mine, and winning it was the other part of the dream, but it was still an awesome experience."
Manitou Springs fell in the quarterfinals during Megyeri's freshman year, then advanced to the state semifinals in 2015 and came close to winning it all in 2016, falling in the 3A state title game.
Perhaps the most impressive of all her seasons was her final one. The Mustangs lost three major contributors after the 2015-16 season, but still made it back to the state quarterfinals - something few thought would happen.
"It was really satisfying because a lot of people underestimated us, but I knew what we were capable of," Megyeri said. "We didn't have as great of a season as some of the past ones, but I knew after the first practice we were going to make it back to the state tournament."
Ariana Olson, a fellow senior and one of Megyeri's best friends, played with her all four years of high school.
"It's been really fun playing with her the last four years, and she's obviously been a huge part of our team," Olson said. "Shelby is pretty intense on the court, and is always focused and making sure she lifts us up and makes sure we're also focused. She's so competitive, and she was the hardest-working one at practice and in the games."
Megyeri will continue her basketball career at CSU-Pueblo this fall. She joins a team that went 28-4, and returns a lot of talent.
"I like it because it's close to home and my family will be able to come see me play, especially my parents, grandparents and brothers," she said. "I'm close to them, and not having them in the stands wouldn't be the same."
Megyeri goes from the top dog in high school to a freshman in college, but that's just fine with her.
"I'm going to have to work for playing time, and it won't be handed to me," she said. "I don't expect to start, but I think I can get on the floor and get some good minutes."