After one of the most entertaining prep basketball seasons in recent memory, several players from Mancos and Dolores high schools were named to the San Juan Basin League Class 2A all-conference team.
The team, which was selected by votes from league coaches, was composed of players from Ignacio, Telluride, Ridgway, Mancos and Dolores high schools.
Below are the local players who were selected.
Caden Showalter, first teamAfter another impressive season that saw him dominate on both ends of the floor and lead his team to its first state tournament appearance in more than a decade, Mancos High School junior Caden Showalter received first team all-conference honors.
The 6-foot-5-inch forward averaged 15.8 points and 8.3 rebounds per game while playing a key role in his team’s 1-3-1 zone defense, which consistently flummoxed opposing teams.
Among Showalter’s most impressive performances of the season came during his team’s 60-53 win over Dolores on Jan. 22 when he dominated from start to finish and scored a season-high 27 points. The junior scored 23 points in his team’s 64-55 victory over Heritage Christian in the regional championship on March 2.
Tristen Swagerty, first teamPlaying in his final season of a spectacular career, Dolores High School senior Tristen Swagerty again stood out as one of the top players in the San Juan Basin League and received first team all-conference honors.
Relying on his size, leaping ability and quickness, Swagerty averaged 16.5 points and 9.1 rebounds per game while proving to be a quality shot-blocker.
Among Swagerty’s best performances came in his team’s 68-65 victory over SJBL powerhouse Ignacio on Dec. 4. In that contest, the senior scored a season-high 36 points and pulled down 11 rebounds during what fans will remember as a truly dominant performance.
Connor Showalter, first teamMancos High School freshman Connor Showalter established himself as one of Colorado’s top up-and-coming prospects and received first team all-conference honors.
In addition to posting season averages of 11.8 points and 4.6 rebounds per game, Showalter posted one of the top 3-point field goal percentages in the state by knocking down 58 of his 91 long-range shots.
The freshman’s most impressive performance came against Ridgway on Jan. 19, when he scored 24 points and led his team to a 73-47 victory. Showalter scored 17 points during his team’s 59-48 victory over Ignacio on Jan. 15.
William Swagerty, first teamEmerging as a multidimensional threat during his second season of high school basketball, Dolores High School sophomore William Swagerty provided hope for his program’s future and received first team all-conference honors.
Over the course of the season, Swagerty averaged 7.5 points and 2.4 rebounds per game while converting 43 of his 105 3-point field goal attempts. The sophomore’s top performance when he scored 17 points during his team’s 46-34 victory over Ouray on Jan. 26.
Vassar Stephens, second teamAfter a season that included memorable high-flying dunks, Mancos High School senior Vassar Stephens received second team all-conference honors.
Although an injury reduced Stephens’ minutes and scoring ability late in the season, the senior still managed to post averages of 12.9 points and 4.4 rebounds per game. Stephens’ top performance came when he scored a season-high 20 points during his team’s 62-35 victory over Dolores on Feb. 5.
Dakota Smith, second teamKnown for his strength in the paint and blue-collar mentality, Dolores High School senior Dakota Smith made the most of his final high school season and received second team all-conference honors.
Approaching every game with a “do whatever it takes” mentality, Smith averaged 10.1 points and 5.3 rebounds per game while anchoring his team’s defense and controlling some of the SJBL’s top post players. Smith’s best performance of the season came when he scored 24 points during his team’s 69-63 victory over Telluride on Feb. 9.
Chase Moore, second team Utilizing a combination of natural athleticism and endless hustle, Mancos High School freshman Chase Moore made the most of his first season of high school basketball and received second team all-conference honors.
A bench player for much of the season and a starter during his team’s run to the state tournament, Moore averaged 3.2 points per game while anchoring his team’s backcourt with ball handling and solid defense. Moore’s top scoring performance came in a 58-48 state tournament loss to Limon when he scored a 10 points.