Teams wanting to find out where they stand in the echelon of Colorado high school basketball teams will find no better measuring stick than the Denver East Angels.
An 11-tme state champion and home of legendary coach Rudy Carey, Denver East is the premier hoops program in the state, a perennial contender that consistently sends players to Division I colleges.
Broomfield had a chance to take on the Angels Wednesday night in the second round of the annual Fairview Festival Holiday Tournament and, despite suffering a 65-54 loss at the hands of Denver East, the Eagles left the game feeling encouraged about its prospects for the upcoming season.
"Denver East is the standard in so many ways for our state in basketball," Broomfield coach Terrance Dunn said. "So to be able to come in and make them work and make them uncomfortable and make them have to really get after it and change some things and get out of their rhythm is good. The fact that we can do that is encouraging.
"We've got some things to clean up but I think we're going to be OK."
After all Broomfield (1-2) is a team that should get better as the season goes along. Several members of the squad were also on the school's football team that played in 4A state championship game last Saturday and just joined the team on Monday.
"We just got our football players back," Dunn said. "We've essentially had two games and a practice. We've had more games then practices with them. So we'll iron some stuff out."
The game was played at a frantic pace that definitely favored Denver East, which entered the season ranked third in 5A in the CHSAANow.com poll. Both teams committed a ton of turnovers and players rushed shots, resulting in low shooting percentages. But Broomfield matched them physically, and each team the Angels threatened to blow the game open, the Eagles would answer.
Denver East built a couple of double-digit leads in the second quarter behind the drives of speedy guard Kwane Marble and the 3-point shooting of Scotty Wiese. But Broomfield closed out the first half on a 9-1 run, getting five points from Mike Georgiton and a couple of buckets from Steven Croell, to cut the deficit to 31-29 heading into the intermission.
Weise, who finished with a game-high 22, opened the third with consecutive 3s to give the Angels some breathing room, and Broomfield never got closer then three points the rest of the way. But Denver East was never able to totally break free, and it took a 6-0 run to close out the game to end the Eagles threat.
Next up for Broomfield in the tournament's third-place game is Fairview, which fell to Denver South 67-50 in the night cap.
The Knights started quick against the Rebels, getting seven points from Trent Carson in the first minute of the contest, and building a 9-0 lead before Denver South scored it's first points.
But Fairview couldn't maintain it's lead, as the Knights got into early foul trouble and South made a steady procession to the foul line, taking the lead for good with a 13-0 run late in the second quarter.
John Rosa: 303-684-5212, firstname.lastname@example.org
Denver East 65, Broomfield 54
At Fairview Festival
Potts 2 1-3 5, Marble 3 9-12 16, Abiakam 3 3-6 9, Wiese 5 7-7 22, Neagle 1 0-0 2, May 2 1-2 5, Diouf 1 4-6 6.
Foster 4 3-3 14, Croell 2 1-2 5, Georgiton 5 2-4 13, Kealer 2 0-0 5, Garmer 0 2-2 2, Wolff 2 1-2 5, Martinez 1 8-8 10.
Score by quarters:Denver East 18 13 17 17 — 65 Broomfield 12 17 13 12 — 54
3-point field goals — Denver East: Wiese 5, Marble; Broomfield: Foster 3, Georgiton, Kealer.