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  • Writer's pictureEast Spotlight Newspaper

Angels Basketball Makeover

Following last year's state championship, the Angels basketball team has undergone a complete makeover. Having lost 12 seniors, the door has been left wide open for new players to make their mark on East’s Storied basketball history.

The Angels began the season just as they had left off, winning each of their six opening games, including a win over Fort Collins who made the elite 8 of last year's state tournament. However, the team has since faced a poor run of form, only winning one of the last 8. While the Angels record has taken a hit, there are many positives to be observed. The team has shown many signs of dominance, taking control of many periods throughout the game, only missing the decisive edge in the fourth quarter.

Last year's title clinching team was led by Mr. Colorado Basketball, D’Aundre Samuels. Samuels, who led the team in points, assists, rebounds, steals, and blocks could always be relied upon to perform, no matter the circumstances. D’Aundre was accompanied by incredibly reliant teammates, including Gil Gonzalez, Austin Mohr, Sam Scott, and Jack Greenwood who capped off the championship run scoring 27 points against Fossil Ridge.

This year without the likes of Samuels, the Angels have had to turn to the new faces that fill the roster to perform in the difficult moments. Leading the charge is Junior James Murray, averaging 15.2 points per game, Fabian Morris with 5.4 rebounds per game, and Ehud Tesfoye who leads the team in assists and steals per game.

Despite a drastic change in the players themselves, the program is still under the control of Head Coach Rudy Carey. Carey himself has quite a storied coaching career, having recently reached 900 wins, and most state titles in the state of Colorado with an individual total of ten. 

James Murray, who joined East in October has certainly made his presence felt on the court. Prior to the new season, the team set a goal which Murray says is “to get better every game, and that is because no one is named champion until march.” Averaging 15.2 points, 4.5 rebounds, and 3.5 assists, it is clear that he will be a pivotal asset should the Angels continue to reach their goal and defend their title.

Murray attributes this year's struggles to the mentality of the opponents, saying “the teams that we play, if they beat us that's their state championship.” Yet despite the various challenges the season has presented, the team still feels they are in the running for yet another state championship. “I think we still have a good chance of defending,” said Murray, “I'm excited for the next 30-40 days.”

With few games remaining in the season, it is make or break time for the Angles. Only three of the thirty two teams in last year's playoffs held losing records, making it pivotal that the Angels win at least half of the remaining games, the majority of which are league games. The Angels will conclude the regular season with a home against Omaha Westside on February 10th, before they will hopefully look to defend the state championship with a long run into the playoffs.

With a record of ten and eight, the team will have their work cut out for them, should they look to follow last season's historic victory with another state title. However, under the guidance of legendary coach Rudy Carey and a team full of young potential, the future of the Angels Basketball program is certainly bright.

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