The road to the Class 4A boys basketball championship will end the same way it did a year ago.
LEWIS-PALMER 70, HOLY FAMILY 56
Don't expect Lewis-Palmer to be content with making it this far.
For the past two seasons, the Rangers have won their Final Four games – and Friday afternoon was no different. For the third-consecutive year, Lewis-Palmer will be playing in the state championship game after defeating Holy Family 70-56 at the Denver Coliseum.
In those previous instances, however, the Rangers came up short both times, being defeated in the title game to finish runners-up in back-to-back years.
The celebration time ran short on Friday, as the Rangers already starting looking ahead to avenge those losses in Saturday's championship.
"We'll celebrate for a little bit in the locker room, then it's on to tomorrow," senior Joel Scott said. "We're trying to focus and get ready for tomorrow and have fun."
Leading the way for Lewis-Palmer was a game-high 20 points from Noah Baca. Scott put up 17 points, while Ethan Forrester and Matthew Ragsdale both scored 13. The Rangers remain undefeated on their 2019 campaign (27-0).
Holy Family finishes 22-6 on the season and was led by Tanner Baird's team-high 19 points, along with 16 from Garrett Green.
The Rangers will play Longmont in a rematch of last year's state championship game, where the Trojans won 62-59, at 3 p.m. Saturday
LONGMONT 61, PUEBLO EAST 49
Being the defending state champion, Longmont (27-0) has been targeted by all of its opponents so far this postseason.
They survived an overtime scare against 10-seed Harrison with a 1-point win last week. On Friday, Pueblo East was the latest to give a shot at an upset bid.
The two played close in the game's opening quarter before the Trojans built a 31-19 halftime lead. The Eagles then staged a comeback spanning late into the fourth quarter.
Pueblo East closed the gap to 50-49 with less than three minutes to play. But timely buckets that came from forced turnovers held Longmont string together an 11-0 to close out the game and secure the victory.
"We've had a lot of tight ball games this year. It's something we've really preached, just being able to stay calm and cool," said senior Brady Renck, who scored a game-high 18 points.
When asked about the rematch with Lewis-Palmer in a championship game of undefeated teams, Renck said: "We're ready. It should be fun."
Helping Longmont's offensive attack was 14 points from Calvin Seamons and 10 from Jaydon Elkins.
Pueblo East finishes 17-11 and was led by Darnell Kindred's teamhigh 17 points, as well as 12 scored by Jaxson Herring.
"That's all you could ask for – two of the best teams in the state playing for the best trophy in the state," Renck said. "We know they're going to be ready, we're going to be ready. It should be a battle."