After a season that saw the Montezuma-Cortez High School boys basketball team finish with a winning record for the first time in 10 years and qualify for the state tournament, it was fitting that two of its top players, Jasen Engel and Teagan Whiteskunk, received postseason honors.
Engel impressive in final seasonFor Engel, honors came as an honorable mention on Colorado’s Class 3A all-state team and first-team honors on the Western Slope League’s all-conference team.
The awards provided a fitting conclusion to Engel’s outstanding high school career, during which he played four years of varsity basketball and was a starter on the varsity team the past three seasons.
Engel was named first team all-conference as a junior after he led his team in scoring with 13.2 points per game and 4.2 points per game.
During his senior year, his skills were on full display as he alternated between guard and post positions and averaged 14.8 points, 7.6 rebounds and 2.8 assists per game.
One of Engel’s finest performances came against Ignacio on Jan. 5 when he scored a game-high 26 points and pulled down a game-high 11 rebounds to help the Panthers secure a 62-51 win.
Engel’s leadership made a significant difference for several of the team’s younger players, who looked to the Panthers’ upperclassmen for advice on and off the floor.
“Jasen was the leader of the team and the team’s heart and soul,” M-CHS head coach Mike Hall said. “He came in as a freshman, and he started his last three years. He is an all-around stud athlete.”
Whiteskunk emerges as a forceOver the course of the 2017-18 season, few players in the Southwest were as impressive on the offensive end of the floor as sophomore Teagan Whiteskunk, who was named first team all-conference for the Western Slope League.
Among Whiteskunk’s most impressive games this season was a 35-point effort during his team’s 79-56 victory over Monte Vista on Jan. 19. For the season, he averaged a team-high 17.2 points per game.
The sophomore also averaged 3.7 rebounds, 2.8 assists, and 1.2 steals per game while consistently firing up fans with a mix of deft shooting and impressive ballhandling that left opposing defenders shaking their heads.
“(Teagan’s) freshman year, we let him play a lot at the JV level,” Hall said. “We brought him up this year, and he started. The offense went through him, and he’s one of the better ballhandlers in the league. He’s a good basketball player and a smart basketball player.”