Denver East's Tyre Robinson stops George Washington's Jalen Johnson in his tracks Saturday. (Karl Gehring, The Denver Post )
It wasn't that Denver East won. No, the Angels are the top-ranked team in The Denver Post Class 5A coaches poll and have yet to lose to a Colorado team.
And if they won handily, no surprise there either, because they are a sure bet to be the top seed into the state playoffs when brackets are announced in a week for bigger schools as Colorado heads into the final days of the 2012-13 regular season.
However, how many saw this coming?
On a warm afternoon on which the side doors of the Thunderdome had to be propped open to allow some cool airflow, the Angels slapped city rival George Washington 82-20 on Saturday in front of another packed house.
Denver East did whatever it wanted, whenever it wanted, in moving to 20-2 overall, 7-0 in the Denver Prep League, clinching at least a tie for the city loop crown. The Angels can win another league title outright when they face Denver South at home on Friday.
Coach Rudy Carey remained cautious against others "who want to anoint us" with a state title and is centering on preparing for the tournament, but he was like everybody else in the city's hoops mecca ? stunned at the margin, the worst among high-end city programs at the Thunderdome since it opened in the early 1990s during Chauncey Billups' sophomore season at GW and the most eyebrow-raising in Denver in decades.
"Maybe ever," Carey said. "And you know what? (GW coach) Michael Rogers is a good friend of mine, and we tried to be respectful."
The Angels rotated players, ran a delay and spread the floor once the game was in hand, but the Patriots (13-9, 4-3) had no place to go to escape an afternoon nightmare, one of those outings that will be difficult to forget.
GW, which has had eligibility issues after a strong start to the season, failed to reach double-figure scoring in any quarter and scored just five points after halftime, all of one over the final eight minutes.
The Pats were 2-of-17 shooting after halftime, made no baskets over the final eight minutes (and no 3-pointers for the game) and had serious trouble with turnovers and second chances off the backboards.
"It's how we'd like to beat everybody," East's Jevon Griffin said.
Griffin led all scorers with 21 points, 18 in the first half. Dominique Collier scored 16 to go with five rebounds, five assists and five steals. Tyre Robinson scored 13 as the crowd left early, a rarity at the Thunderdome that capped the odd outcome.
"Now, we just want to keep working hard and staying focused," Carey said.
Denver East 21 21 22 18 ? 82
George Washington 9 6 4 1 ? 20
Denver East ? Griffin 6 7-9 21,?Carey 4 0-0 9, ?Terroade 3 1-1 7, ?Collier 3 8-8 16, ?Robinson 4 5-6 13, ?Kelly 1 0-0 2, ?Dunn-Rhodes 0 0-0 0, ?Jones 0 0-0 0, ?Mokros 1 0-2 2, ?Zettas 0 3-4 3, ?Antai 3 0-0 9, ?Willis 0 0-0 0, Potts 0 0-0 0. ?Totals 25 24-30 82.
George Washington ? Hudgens 2 1-1 5,?Davis 1 0-0 2, ?Hewlett 0 1-2 1, ?Johnson 1 0-0 2, ?Taylor 1 2-2 4, ?Gordon 1 2-2 4, ?Tagir 1 0-0 2, ?Smith 0 0-0 0, ?King 0 0-0 0. ?Totals 7 6-7 20.
3-pt. goals ? Antai 3, Collier 2, Griffin 2, Carey.?Fouled out ? None.?Technicals ? Davis.