AURORA | With only two coaches in 30-plus years of boys basketball, putting together a list of Rangeview’s top 30 players wasn’t as much of a challenge as it might be for some schools.
Only Terry Taylor Sr. and current coach Shawn Palmer have roamed the sidelines for the Raiders since the school opened in 1983, making the compilation of the best players to wear a Rangeview uniform in the last three decades a virtual slam dunk.
During halftime of Friday’s 7 p.m. non-league home game against George Washington, Rangeview will recognize 30 players selected by Taylor Sr. and Palmer who have helped create an illustrious history that includes 15 trips to the Sweet 16 round of the playoffs, 10 times in the Great 8, seven Final Four appearances and one state championship (3A in 1985) in three trips to the final.
“It was a lot easier for us to do than somebody who has to track down a bunch of different coaches,” Palmer said. “For us, it was one conversation and one email. It was really neat to work with Coach Taylor on this and recognize some great moments from the past.”
The two coaches got together and poured over the standouts in three decades of boys basketball at Rangeview, which has seen a stunning 444-258 overall record (a hefty .632 winning percentage), which includes the current Raiders’ 8-2 mark. Only twice in those 30 years did Rangeview fail to appear in the playoffs.
The top 30 list includes 14 players from the 2000s and eight each from the 1980s and 1990s. Eighteen played exclusively for Taylor Sr. — who stepped down after the 2002-2003 season when Palmer took over — while three played at least one season under both coaches and nine played just for Palmer.
“I think it was a pretty good balance,” Palmer said.
Palmer said a number of the players on the list wanted to attend, but many life out of state and can’t make it back for the ceremony.
Aside from two active players — seniors Jeremiah Paige (the school’s newly-minted scoring and blocked shot leader) and Trey Bridges — former players Jamal Wright (2008-2011), Marvin Jones (1991-1994) and Lorenzo Phillips (1985-1988) are scheduled to be in attendance. Taylor Sr., who was on the coaching staff of Class 5A state champion Eaglecrest last season, and his son Terry Taylor Jr., Rangeview’s all-time assist leader and No. 2 scorer in just two seasons (1983-84 and 84-85) also are expected to be there.
The late Curtis Cotton Jr., who played for both coaches and graduated in 2004, will also be recognized. Cotton Jr. died in a car accident in 2010 at the age of 23 and has been remembered at the school for the last two years with a memorial 3-on-3 basketball tournament in the summer.
Rangeview’s also had the same PA announcer (Rich Gomez) and bookkeeper (Bard Curtis) for the past 30 years.
Courtney Oakes is Sports Editor of the Aurora Sentinel. Reach him at 303-750-7555 or [email protected] Twitter: @aurorasports. Facebook: Aurora Prep Sentinel
Top 30 Players in 30 years of Rangeview Boys Basketball
Andy Gurzick (1998) – All-State ‘98, assists leader / played at Western State; Brandon Bacon (1991) – Honorable Mention All-State ’91 / played at Ft. Lewis; Brian Mueller (1992) – 2nd Team All-State ’92 / played at Southern CO; Bryan Schneider (1990) – All-State Tourney Team ‘89, 2nd Team All-State ’90; Chris Dennis (1987) – All-Conference selection / played at Mesa State; CJ Littlejohn (2005) – Honorable Mention All-State, ’05 / played at Otero Junior College and Bethany College; Curtis Cotton (2004) – Honorable Mention All-State ‘04 / played Western Nebraska and New Mexico Highlands; Gabe Solarin (2012) – Honorable Mention All-State ‘12 / currently playing at Northwest College; Jamal Wright (2011) – Honorable Mention All-State ’11 / currently playing Otero Junior College; James Wilson (1985) – All-Conference selection, All-State ‘85 / played at Hawaii and Youngstown State; Jeffrey Solarin (2011) – Honorable Mention All-State ‘10, 2nd Team All-State 2011, rebounding leader / currently plays for Idaho State; Jeremiah Paige (2014) – Scoring & blocks leader, 2nd Team All-State ‘13 / signed to play at CSU; Ken Turner (1989) – All-Conference selection / played at Metro State College of Denver ; Kellan Mclemore (2008) – Honorable Mention All-State ‘07 and ’08 / played at Carelton College; Kirk Robbins (1990) – All-Conference selection / played at Colorado College; Lars VanEtten (1989) – All-State 87-89 / played at the University of Denver; Lawson Williams (1991) – All-Conference selection, 1st Team All-State ’90; Lorenzo Phillips (1988) – All-Conference selection, All-State ’88 / played at Ft. Lewis; Marcus Holt (2011) – Leader in blocks in a single game / played at Paris Junior College and currently plays at Colorado State; Marvin Jones (1994) – Three point leader, All-State ‘94, All-State Tourney Team ‘93 / played at UNC Greeley; Mike Mcnish (1999) – All-Conference selection / played at Colo. School of Mines; Pat Boyle (1989) – All-Conference selection / played at Denver University; Paul Mayfield (2001) – Honorable Mention All-State ’01/ played at Trinidad State; Reggie Evans (2008) – 1st Team All-State ’08, leader in points in a season and game / played at Metro State College of Denver; Sonny Coleman (1988) – All-Conference selection / played at Fort Lewis; Terry Taylor Jr. (1985) – Leader in scoring average and assists in a season, CO Player of the Year and Steinmark Winner ’85 / played at Stanford University; Tim Koralewski (2006) – Second all-time in rebounds, All-Conference ’06; Trey Bridges (2014) – Second in career assists, Honorable Mention All-State ’13; Terry Davis (1993) – 1st team All-Tournament, leader in charges taken; Yoshio Allen (2009) – Honorable Mention All-State ’10 / played at Otero Junior college and currently plays for Black Hills State