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ThunderRidge edges Denver East in final seconds of 5A Final Four

The Grizzlies are going back to the Class 5A state title game with a chance to defend their crown.

DENVER — The first game of the 5A boys basketball Final Four didn't lack excitement.

Defending state champion ThunderRidge, the top seed in the CHSAA playoff bracket, did just enough in the final seconds of Friday night's state semifinal game to squeak past No. 4 Denver East, 55-54, at the Denver Coliseum.

The game came down to the final possession, on which the Grizzles stopped the Angels from hitting a game-winner. 

"Crazy feeling, crazy feeling," said ThunderRidge sophomore guard Andrew Crawford. "Just to do this with my brothers, I love them so much. Can't wait."

Zach Keller led ThunderRidge with a game-high 19 points, while Crawford scored 15 and Joey Billelo added 10.

Denver East was led by D'Aunder Samuels' team-high 18 points, while Quis Davis and Aguir Mohr both scored 12 points apiece.

ThunderRidge will play the winner of No. 2 Fossil Ridge vs. No. 3 Chaparral, who play later Friday night, on Saturday in the state title game at 7 p.m.

Denver East's season ends with a 24-3 overall record.

>>Watch the extended video above and see the highlights on the 9NEWS Prep Rally this weekend!

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