DENVER - Eaglecrest knew what it felt like to lose in a state championship game. This time, they would make certain it wouldn't happen again. After a slow start, the Raptors overcame George Washington late in the fourth quarter to bring home the 5A boys' basketball title in a 53-47 victory.
The Patriots -- who were searching for their first title since Chauncey Billups brought one home back in 1994 -- jumped out to an early lead behind Mohammad Diallo and Tre Pierce, each of whom had six points. George Washington's defense would hold Eaglecrest stud Colbey Ross to just four points in the first half.
But the Raptors knew when to kick it into high gear. After outscoring their opponents 17-10 in the third quarter, Eaglecrest would finally take back the lead heading into the fourth off a Ross three-pointer. From there, it was anyone's game.
After what seemed like countless lead changes during the back-and-fourth action in the fourth quarter, Eaglecrest finally got on a roll. The Raptors led by as many as 10 at one point, and even though George Washington fought its way back, it wouldn't be enough to take down the surging Raptors.
Ross finished with a game-high 15 points. Teammates Victor Garnes (11) and Ikenna Ozor (12) also contributed double-digit points in the team win.
Eaglecrest head coach John Olander is going out a champion, as he will be retiring at the end of the season.
This marks the second boys' basketball state championship in program history. Eaglecrest fell to De'Ron Davis and Overland High School in last year's 5A title game.
Tune in to the Sunday morning Prep Rally for more action from the 5A state title game.
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