AURORA | John Olander has one last game on the bench, as the former Eaglecrest boys basketball coach will guide one of the teams in the second A-Town All-Star Boys Game opposite Vista PEAK Prep’s Gary Childress.
Olander’s final official game as Raptors’ coach resulted in a Class 5A state championship, as Eaglecrest topped George Washington 53-47 March 11 at the Denver Coliseum for the program’s second all-time state crown.
Olander announced his plans to step down earlier in the season after a lengthy run that has made Eaglecrest one of the state’s top programs annually. He won more than 250 games in his tenure on the bench and led the Raptors to the Final Four four times in his last five seasons, took the to the state championship game three times in that span and won two championships (2012-13 and 2016-17).
Olander’s charges on Team West include two of his six key seniors in Colbey Ross and Austin Forsberg. (Team West roster, here)
A familiar face to Olander will coach Team East in Childress, who coached against him for more than a decade while he was at Grandview — one of the Raptors’ fiercest rivals — before moving over to Vista PEAK Prep.
Childress — who picked up career win No. 500 during the season — guided the Bison to a runner-up finish in their first season in the EMAC as part of a 20-win campaign. Vista PEAK Prep lost in the Sweet 16 round of the 4A state playoffs.
On Childress’ Team East is the Vista PEAK Prep duo of senior Marquise Johnson and junior Te’Rae Johnson, one of five players to earn selection to the A-Town All-Star Game after playing last season. (Team East roster, here)
Coaching duties for the A-Town All-Star Game will rotate for the future. Grandview’s Michael Rogers and Rangeview’s Shawn Palmer coached in last season’s game at Aurora Central High School.
Courtney Oakes is Aurora Sentinel Sports Editor. Reach him at 303-750-7555 or [email protected] Twitter: @aurorasports. FB: Aurora Prep Sentinel