BOULDER — It wasn’t a good sign when the Boulder boys basketball team, which hadn’t allowed 50 points in a game all season, gave up more than that in the first half on Friday night.

Denver East showed how worthy it is to be the No. 1 team in Class 5A by handing the previously unbeaten Panthers a decisive 80-54 trouncing at BHS’ gym.

East bolted out to a 12-0 advantage and eventually led 51-17 before Boulder hit its stride.

“We came out and they jumped on us right from the start, no question about it,” said Jonah Charnick, who scored a team-high 14 points for BHS. “We hadn’t seen that kind of athleticism.”

East, winner of five state titles since 1996, improved its record to 5-1, while Boulder dropped to 4-1. The Angels are 3-0 against Colorado opponents and have outscored them by an average of 27 points per game.

“That’s a special team,” BHS coach Eric Eisenhard said. “They’re every bit as good as the teams I worked with at Regis that went 76-8 and won three state championships in a row.

“There’s no way for us to replicate that. We went five-on-seven in practice to try to replicate it and we still couldn’t do it. I don’t think our kids had ever seen that speed and that talent and that quickness. They’re just bigger, stronger and faster than anybody else we see.”

With University of Colorado coach Tad Boyle in attendance, Boulder didn’t score at all in the first 3:15 of the game, missing its first six field goal attempts and turning the ball over three times. By the time the first half was over, East led 53-20 and had hit 20 of its 29 field-goal attempts. The Panthers, meanwhile, had converted 8 of 26 from the field.

“The first half was pretty good, but we’ve played better, believe it or not,” said veteran East coach Rudy Carey, whose Angels were ousted by Boulder in the 2011 state quarterfinals. “Our kids are focused. We play hard and we’ve got a little talent — if I don’t screw ’em up.

“But Boulder has a good team. They play hard and are scrappy.”

After being overwhelmed before intermission, the Panthers played considerably better in the second half, outscoring East 34-27. But the Angels’ lead never dipped below 21.

Dominique Collier scored 25 points to pace East, while fellow junior Ronnie Harrell added 16.

“It was good for us to see that (talent level) now and not (for the first time) in March,” Charnick said. “We made a big deal out of playing them, and we’ve been talking about it for a while. It’s disappointing how it turned out, but we’re glad we got to do it.”

Boulder will return to action Tuesday at Littleton.

Denver East 80, Boulder 54

At Boulder HS


Griffin 2 1-2 5, Carey 4 0-0 11, Collier 8 8-9 25, Harrell 6 1-1 16, Robinson 6 0-0 12, Kelly 0 0-0 0, Jones 0 0-0 0, Mokros 0 0-0 0, Antai 0 1-2 1, Zettas 0 0-0 0, Floyd 1 0-0 2, Willis 1 2-2 4, Davis 2 0-0 4. Totals 30 13-16 80.


Turner 3 1-2 9, Charnick 6 0-0 14, Lampert 1 0-0 2, Rodriguez 2 5-7 9, Bohm 2 0-1 4, Kelly 0 1-2 1, Szarmach 1 0-0 2, Riverol 2 0-0 5, Van Lieshout 3 1-1 8, Blessing 0 0-0 0. Totals 20 8-13 54.

Score by quarters:

Denver East 29 24 8 19 — 80

Boulder 10 10 7 24 — 54

3-point field goals — Denver East (7): Harrell 3, Carey 3, Collier; Boulder (6): Turner 2, Charnick 2, Riverol, Van Lieshout. Total fouls — Denver East 17, Boulder 16. Fouled out — none. Technical fouls — none.