5A BOYS BASKETBALL ROUNDUP

Other than during the state tournament, consider it as a very interesting time for Denver East.

The Angels recently returned from Nebraska, where they tamed Bellevue West, the defending large-school champion. They also downed Colorado Class 5A state champion Eaglecrest 76-71 in nonconference on Monday night. And both were road victories.

On Tuesday, they will open Denver Prep League play against John F. Kennedy. On Friday, the Angels will take on city-rival Thomas Jefferson, then finish the week on Saturday at the Far Northeast Warriors.

Do the math — it’s five regular-season games (including one out of state) over eight days, a haul for any schoolboy team.

“It’s a stretch,” Denver East head coach Rudy Carey said.

Carey, who needs eight victories to become just the second coach in Colorado history to reach 800, added: “the kids are playing well, playing hard and getting better.”

Daylen Kountz (23.4 points) and Kwane Marble (17.1) pack a one-two punch for the Angels.

Now’s the time across the class to make a move and several are available this week.

To the south, Doherty, which has quietly rolled to a 12-3 overall mark and sits atop the Colorado Springs Metro at 5-0, will take on its immediate couple of challengers. The Spartans, headed by Kyrele Benford (13.9 points, 7.7 rebounds), Alijah Bates (12.4 points, 6.9 rebounds) and Joseph Golden (10.9 points, 11.2 rebounds), will be at Fountain-Fort Carson (6-9, 3-1) on Tuesday, then host Liberty (12-4, 4-2) on Thursday,

In the East Metro Athletic Conference, which has been all but owned by Aurora’s Rangeview, the Raiders again find themselves in the mix, tied at 2-0 (and 9-6 overall) with Brighton and Vista PEAK Prep, a game behind Prairie View.  So, of course, Rangeview and Ryan Ongala (10.1 points, 6.6 rebounds) will host Prairie View (7-7 overall) on Tuesday and will be at Vista PEAK (7-8) on Friday.

And this will be perhaps the best week to watch the EMAC as Vista PEAK (Te’rae Johnson, 17.9 points) will be at Brighton (9-5 overall) and junior Brayden Schlitt (14.1 points) on Wednesday.

What would a big-school week be without noting the Centennial and Continental games to watch?

 On Wednesday, and in what is turning out to be a crazy Centennial, Grandview (12-3, 4-3) will be at a much-improved Mullen (8-6, 3-3, Christian Davis, 13.6 points) for the second time this month. The first one, won by the Wolves and Dayne Prim (13.7 points, 8.3 rebounds), was nonleague as both teams needed a game. This one will be in league as will the matchup next month in Aurora. Meanwhile, Overland (8-7, 6-0), which is plaing big-time defense, is a victory away from running the table through the first go-round in the loop. The Trailblazers and Daijon Smith 15.1 points) will host Arapahoe on Wednesday, then Eaglecrest on Friday.

Concerning the Continental, Chaparral will be at Highlands Ranch. Both teams have 13 victories and are tied for the league lead at 3-0. The Wolverines, headed by Ronnie DeGray and his 18.4 points, will visit Brendan Sullivan and his 22.4 points. Plus, Saturdaywill have Mountain Vista visiting Rock Canyon and Northern Colorado signee Sam Masten on Saturday,

Saturday’s Bear Creek (9-4, 5-1) at Arvada West (9-6, 4-2) will determine the Jefferson County lead … for now.

For the Front Range, Poudre (8-6, 3-1) at Rocky Mountain (7-8, 4-1) on Friday is a meeting of two of the loop’s teams chasing Fossil Ridge and the big rivalry of Boulder (9-6, 3-2) against Fairview (9-6, 4-1), also trying to gain league ground, has been switched to the University of Colorado’s Coors Events Center for Thursday. Officials are asking attendees to take note — backpacks, liquids and purses are no-no’s and certain policies will be enforced. Check your questions with either high school before attending.

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