Boys Basketball: Eaglecrest streaks past Denver East 72-53 into yet another 5A Final Four

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From left, Eaglecrest’s Joshua Walton, Colbey Ross, Austin Forsberg and Jayme Rich react after receiving the Larry Farmer Region plaque they won with a 72-53 victory over Denver East in a 2017 Class 5A boys state basketball Great 8 playoff game on March 4, 2017, at the Denver Coliseum. The Raptors advanced to their third straight 5A Final Four and will face Rock Canyon on March 10 at the same venue with a chance to play for the state championship on the line. (Photo by Courtney Oakes/Aurora Sentinel)

DENVER | John Olander spent a few extra moments lingering in the lockerroom deep inside the Denver Coliseum Saturday afternoon, soaking everything in.

His remaining time as the Eaglecrest boys basketball coach is limited as he will step down at season’s end, but his Raptors gave him at least one more game on the bench — and the promise of maybe two — with their 72-53 Great 8 victory over Denver East.

Fueled by 12 first half points from senior Ikenna Ozor, top-seeded Eaglecrest built a 16-point lead at halftime despite zero points from leading scorer Colbey Ross, then got 19 in the second half from Ross on the way to qualifying for a third straight Final Four and fourth in the past five seasons.

Ozor and senior Joshua Walton finished with 14 points apiece for Eaglecrest (22-4), which returns to the Denver Coliseum on March 10 to play fifth-seeded Rock Canyon, which prevented an all-Aurora semifinal by rallying to beat No. 4 Grandview 42-40.

Eaglecrest and Rock Canyon square off at 8:30 p.m., following the 7 p.m. semifinal between No. 3 George Washington and No. 2 ThunderRidge. The winners play for the 5A state title at 8:30 p.m. March 11.

Courtney Oakes is Aurora Sentinel Sports Editor. Reach him at 303-750-7555 or [email protected] Twitter: @aurorasports. FB: Aurora Prep Sentinel

(1) EAGLECREST 72, (9) DENVER EAST 53

Score by quarters:

Denver East   6  15  14  18 — 53

Eaglecrest     16  21  18  17 — 72

DENVER EAST (52)

Daylen Kountz 6 7-9 19, Jamison Washington 7 4-7 20, Kwane Marble 1 1-1 3, Joseph Abiakam 0 1-2 1, Assane Diouf 1 0-1 2, Scotty Wiese 3 0-1 8, Lonnell Maxwell 0 0-0 0, David Glazer 0 0-0 0, Alexander Flowers 0 0-2 0. Totals 18 13-23 52.

EAGLECREST (72)

Victor Garnes 1 5-6 7, Colbey Ross 4 11-12 19, Austin Forsberg 1 1-4 3, Ikenna Ozor 7 0-1 14, Nate Bokol 2 2-2 6, Xai’vion Jackson 1 1-3 3, Morgan Brown 3 0-2 6, Jamey Rich 0 0-0 0. Totals 22 27-38 72.

3-point field goalsDenver East (4): Jamison Washington 2, Scotty Wiese 2; Eaglecrest: Josh Walton. Total fouls — Denver East 29, Eaglecrest 23. Fouled outDenver East: Joseph Abiakam, Daylen Kountz, Kwane Marble. Technical fouls — Denver East bench