201920 DENVER HIGH SCHOOLS BASKETBALL YEARBOOK | 13
KIPP DENVER COLLEGIATE
The Tigers had a strong run late in the 2018-19
season, winning 12 of 14 games heading into the
Class 3A district tournament. Two tough losses
ended their season at 14-7, but they can build on
their 9-2 fi nish in the Frontier League. The biggest
loss from last year is David Dominguez, who was
second in scoring at 14.6 points per game. He also
averaged 6.2 rebounds a night.
KIPP returns its leading scorer and rebounder in
senior guard Jonathan Cosme. Despite being listed
at 6-1 and 150 pounds, he averaged 11.9 rebounds
per game for the Tigers and was their leading scorer
at 15.6 points per game. Also expected back is senior
Jesus Garcia, who was third on the team in scoring
at 13.3 points a game.
It will be hard for the Thunderbolts to duplicate
their success from last year. Manual won its fi rst
state title since 1991 and its 12th overall, tops all
time in Colorado. Head coach Omar Henry had to say
goodbye to leading scorer Jaedon Bowles, who is
now with Colorado State-Pueblo. Bowles averaged
27.7 points and 7.6 rebounds per game last season,
and went for 26 and 12 in the Class 3A title game.
The team’s third and fourth leading scorers, Adontre
Thompson (13.2 PPG, 8.9 RPG) and Davion Davis
(10.3 PPG) also graduated, but Manual returns
Jaden Stoffell, who averaged 16.9 points as a junior.
Stoffell hit a team-high 82 3-pointers last season. He
and fellow seniors Mekhi McGee and Lonzel Smith,
as well as sophomore Jordan Reed, will be counted
on heavily this season. It will be tougher to run the
table in the Metro League again this season.
Head coach Ezekiel Ocansey lost three seniors, two
of them starters, from last year’s squad. But he feels
good about his roster, partly from those who are still
around. “I think we’re deeper in our lineup this year
because we’re returning three starters,” he said.
Gone are Ryan Swanson, Cyncere Phillips and
Jasyah Mize, but the Nighthawks are getting back
leading scorer and all-conference guard Nasyah
Bolar. Bolar heads a strong senior class that includes
point guards Diego Dominguez and Rasheik Gaddis,
as well as Bally Diakite and Marcus Rogers Jr. The
starting lineup has some size, with three players
ranging from 6-4 to 6-7. Northfi eld fi nished 4-5 in
the 5A/4A Denver Prep League and 12-9 overall
and got valuable experience in the Class 4A state
tournament. The Nighthawks won their fi rst-round
playoff game by 30 points before falling to the fourth
seed in the second round.
Jason Mall takes over as the head coach of the
young Ocelots, which fi nished 3-5 in the Confl uence
League in 2019 and 5-16 overall. A bulk of Smart’s
offense is gone, as leading scorers Jovan Garcia and
Sebastian Acosta graduated. Garcia averaged 15.5
points and 7.1 rebounds a game and Acosta scored
13.2 per game.
The Ocelots do return Ivan Torres, who averaged 11.5
points and 10.1 rebounds per game as a sophomore
last season. Fellow juniors Jared Garcia, Tommy
Nyguen and Steven Chavez should step in to try
and fi ll the scoring void and play quality minutes. It
might take some time for Mall to integrate previous
JV players into the varsity rotation.
The Spartans can boast consistency with head coach
Grant Laman in his 19th year with the program.
They made a somewhat surprising run to the sweet
sixteen of the Class 4A state tournament last season,
upsetting the eighth seed before falling short against
No. 9 Centaurus, 62-60.
That experience may prove valuable to a team that
fi nished 15-11 and 5-4 in the 5A/4A Denver Prep
League. Thomas Jefferson returns four of its fi ve top
scorers, including leading scorer Darius Hornbuckle,
who averaged 14.3 points a game. They lost post
players Logan Cecil and his brother Ryan, but point
guard James Abbey Jr., third on the team in scoring
at 9.4 points per game, will give them experience
in the backcourt. The Spartans aren’t completely
devoid of size, either, as Emmanuel Pregnon, a
standout football player, is back and will provide a