Top-ranked Denver East boys hoops rolls past Thomas Jefferson

(Jordan Morey)

(Jordan Morey)

DENVER -- Denver East coach Rudy Carey doesn’t typically run plays for the reigning Gatorade player of the year, Dominique Collier.

“I don’t draw up a lot of plays for (Collier),” Carey said. “It’s just instinctive for him. We just let him go. He has the latitude to get into his own rhythm -- and goes when he feels like going.”

Collier scored 32 points for Denver East (12-3, 2-0 in league) in a 91-62 win over Thomas Jefferson (10-5, 1-1) on Friday. He shot 5-of-8 from 3-point, and 9-of-16 from the field while adding seven rebounds and three assists.

This season, Collier has averaged 23.7 points per game. In the last five games, averaged 32.4 points.

“With (Collier) on," guard Brian Carey said, "it’s almost impossible to stop him,”

Thomas Jefferson couldn’t handle the combination of Carey and Collier. The two combined for 50 points. Collier had a stellar first quarter by netting a quick 10 points, and Carey added 11 of his own in the second quarter.

Denver East started the second half up 73-45, and Thomas Jefferson failed to slow down East's offense. Collier added another 13 points in the third quarter to put the game out of reach. Halfway through the final quarter, coach Carey put his bench into the game.

“When I’m feeling it, I try to get to the basket or take threes -- but I really like to get my teammates involved before I get hot,” Collier said.

Denver East is ranked No. 1 in the latest CHSAANow.com 5A poll. Seven games stand between now and the tournament. They take on Denver West (7-6) next Tuesday.

Denver East has won 10 state titles in its program’s history, the last in 2008-09.

“It adds motivation for us,” Brian Carey said. “We know we have the No. 1 ranking, but it could be gone just like that. We need to keep working hard and playing unselfishly."