DENVER – Just in case the crowd at the Denver Coliseum forgot, Denver East reminded that Angel fly high. Both on the court and in the record books.

Twice D’Aundre Samuels found Gil Gonzalez on alley-oop lobs. Twice Gonzalez threw them down.

And after a fast-paced run-and-fun style basketball game Denver East solidified its status as perhaps the most legendary boys basketball program in the state.

The 82-61 win over Fossil Ridge in the Class 6A championship game meant many things to the Angels. It’s the first state title for the program since 2014. And that’s awesome. But it’s also the 12 title for the program overall which ties Manual for the most in Colorado history. That’s incredible. And at the same time, it’s No. 10 for coach Rudy Carey who now stands alone in all-time wins (897) and state championships.

“The best thing about it, and the most satisfying is that we’ve done it over five decades,” Carey said. “I’ve been fortunate enough that they’ve let me coach for five decades. I have great support.”

The Angels used the various weapons at their disposal to try and create some distance on the scoreboard in the second quarter. Greenwood scored eight points in the quarter while four other players notched at least one field goal.

(Doug Ottewill/

The Sabercats took a different approach as Randall put the team on his shoulders. He scored 10 of his 14 first-half points in the second and was the only reason that they were within six at halftime.

But the Angels (26-2 overall) took flight in the second half. Jack Greenwood scored 14 of his game-high 27 points in the final two quarters. Sure, Carey and the team can point to Samuels but time after time, East proven to be more than a one-man show. And as Greenwood started heating up, the Sabercats (25-3) struggled to defend the various weapons on the floor.

“Fossil Ridge was a good team, they were in the championship last year,” Greenwood said. “Not doing this last year, I was a JV player, it feels amazing to come out here. That first quarter, I just wanted to do whatever I could to help my team win.”

That was needed in the third quarter when Samuels rolled his ankle, quickly hobbling to the sideline to get it treated.

“I needed to get back in there and help my team,” he said.

The good news is that East had the depth needed to survive.

“Coach Carey reminded us that we’ve played without him before,” Greenwood said. “He’s a great player; he’s the best play in Colorado so it was a little scary, but we knew he’d get back on that ankle and get back in the game.”

Austin Mohr got going as he scored his first field goal of the game after checking in for the hurt Samuels. And he ended up scoring 11 points which was third-most on the team after Greenwood and Samuels (25).

This team was a testament as a why East is often a championship contender if not a championship winner.

“We have good kids,” Carey said. “We have a system and we have a culture of success.”

That success has sustained itself for five decades of Rudy Carey and he’s not showing any signs of slowing down. After starting the season 0-2, including a 63-40 loss to Fossil Ridge, the Angels rattled off a 26-game winning streak to end the season.

The Angels were certainly the best team in Colorado this year. And Denver East now sits as perhaps the greatest dynasty the state has ever seen.