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Bluejays open district tournament with big win over Ridgway

Hot start by Sehnert spurs Mancos boys team to 65-25 victory
Mancos High School head coach Elijah Knepper watches as sophomore Edgar Hernandez launches a 3-pointer during his team’s win over Ridgway High in the opening round of the Class 2A District 3 Tournament on Friday.

Showing no postseason jitters, Mancos High School opened the Class 3A district basketball tournament Friday with a rout of Ridgway, 65-25.

Standing out in the one-sided game was the Bluejays’ ability to move the ball in their half-court offense while generating open shots from nearly every area of the floor.

Senior Anthony Medina and sophomore Evan Sehnert led Mancos offensively with 16 points each, and sophomore Connor Showalter chipped in 14 points and six rebounds. Point guard Christian Cova, a junior, tallied seven points and eight assists.

“It’s pretty good for our team, being able to not just rely on one person,” Sehnert said. “All of us can spread out and do our own thing. It really helps because other teams can’t lock all of us down at once.”

While balanced scoring was key for Mancos throughout the game, Sehnert stole the show in the first 4½ minutes with 11 pointys. He sank a 3-pointer from the left corner to put Mancos ahead 13-2 and dropped in a nifty layup moments late to give the Bluejays a 15-2 lead and force a timeout.

“I was just playing the hardest that I could, and my team was executing the plays really well,” Sehnert said. “We have a really smart coach who knows how to break down the defense. With our team able to execute its plays so well, I was able to get open and hit open shots.”

Ahead 19-6 at the end of the first quarter and 37-12 at halftime, Mancos refused to let up during the opening minutes of the second half, as Medina scored 10 points in the third quarter to give Mancos a 62-21 lead.

At least four of Medina’s third-quarter buckets came off offensive rebounds. Several others came off steals and loose balls.

“It’s the postseason; these games matter the most,” Medina said. “You’ve just got to give it your all.”

Up 41 points to begin the fourth quarter, Mancos head coach Elijah Knepper rested his starters and gave role players Luika Cova, Connor Sehnert, Jesse Henry and Coleman Hoover their first postseason experience.

As the buzzer sounded and fans cheered, Mancos players calmly walked across the court to congratulate their opponents before turning their attention to their district championship game against Ignacio High School on Saturday.

“We’re not going to underestimate them,” Sehnert said. “They’re going to be a great opponent to go against. We’re just going to play our best and focus on the game. We’re not going to focus on what’s ahead and just kind of dial in.”