Gazette Preps Peak Performer of the Week, Megan Engesser, Colorado Springs Christian basketball

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Photo - Colorado Springs Christian School sophomore basketball player Megan Engesser is the Gazette's Peak Performer of the week. She was photographed at the school Monday, March 6, 2017. Photo by Mark Reis, The Gazette
Colorado Springs Christian School sophomore basketball player Megan Engesser is the Gazette's Peak Performer of the week. She was photographed at the school Monday, March 6, 2017. Photo by Mark Reis, The Gazette

As the youngest of three children, Megan Engesser has always had to be stronger and tougher than most.

The Colorado Springs Christian School sophomore may have had a high bar to reach after the prolific high school careers her brothers - Nate and Justin - compiled. But just like when the three used to roughhouse in the backyard, she's holding her own.

"It never really caught up to me until high school, but then it was like, 'Oh, she's an Engesser,'" Megan said. "I want people to know that I'm different and I'm my own person. But it is kind of nerve-wracking to be behind them because they were so good. I just hope I can live up to the name."

She's more than living up to that name during her sophomore season. Engesser scored 28 points in a 61-30 win against Strasburg on Friday, including going a perfect 7 for 7 from 3-point range. She followed that with 19 points in a 60-25 regional title victory over Eaton the next day.

Engesser is not only leading an incredible comeback story - the Lions were 5-15 just two years, and are now 22-2 heading into the 3A state quarterfinals - but she's doing so with her dad, Mark, as the coach.

"Sometimes playing for your dad isn't very fun, because I get yelled at a lot more than other people - I get yelled at sometimes for things I didn't even do," she said with a laugh.

Her dad beams with pride when he talks about what it's like to coach her and watch her grow as a player.

"I'm very proud of her, because she works hard and puts in the time in the offseason, so she deserves this," Mark said. "Some of her older brothers' intensity has rubbed off on her, and that's a good thing. If her brothers were out there playing basketball, she was out there, and everywhere we've lived we've made sure there was a basketball court."

Since Mark took over three years ago, the team has gone from 5-15 to 17-7 last year, and now taken the leap to one of the best teams in the state.

"The whole thing is really cool," he said. "The transformation these girls have had over the past three years has been amazing. They've continued to improve, and it's incredible what they've done."

The CSCS girls will play rival Manitou Springs in the quarterfinals, 4 p.m. Thursday at the University of Denver. The boys' team, also coached by Mark, and led by the middle Engesser child, Justin, will begin its quest for its third straight 3A title at 1:15 p.m. Thursday.

"It's a dream come true, and I hope that we can make the end of the dream part come true," Megan said. "Us both winning a state title would be incredible, but I can't even picture it right now."

Megan then mentions that her mother, Jody, is the glue that holds this basketball family together.

"My mom is a saint," Megan said. "Between everything she does at home, and then she goes and scouts and cheers for us. She's the real deal. She's very excited for state, but I think she gets more nervous than Justin and I do."