DENVER - Lewis-Palmer is headed back to the 4A state title game.

It seemed to be inevitable after defeating opponents by an average of 30 points through the postseason.

And Friday was no different as the Rangers held a 20-point lead over No. 4 Holy Family with less than two minutes to go, eventually defeating the Tigers 70-56 to punch their ticket to a third-consecutive championship game.

The Rangers will face No. 2 Longmont, who defeated No. 14 Pueblo East in the semifinals.

“Our guys are experienced, but if you’re not nervous coming into this game, whether you’re a coach, a player, a fan, then I’m not sure it matters to you as much as it should,” said Lewis-Palmer coach Bill Benton. “There is a nervousness to it, but I think there is a calm being that this group has played together and played well and they’ve been on this stage.”

Last year Lewis-Palmer lost to Longmont in the title game in a one-possession battle, falling to the Trojans by three.

When Lewis-Palmer stepped off the court after its 27th straight win Benton didn’t know who they would face in less than 24 hours — to him, it really doesn’t matter.

“The four teams that are here you know the four of us can play at this level, so it doesn't matter who is on the other side of the court,” Benton said. “I want whatever team shows up tomorrow, that’s going to be our matchup.”

The same goes for senior Joel Scott, who will conclude a stellar high school career Saturday.

“It would be cool to play them again, but whoever it is we will go out there and compete as hard as we can,” Scott said. “It will be fun to get another shot at them after what happened last year but no matter what we are going to go out and play hard on the defensive end and try to get the win.”

Scott said he hadn’t thought about the title game being his last after 93 games in a Ranger uniform.

“It’s crazy I never really thought about it like that,” Scott said. “That’s weird. I have to focus on one last game, but I’m excited for the next step after that.”

Friday Lewis-Palmer fell behind early — a new feeling for the Rangers — after Holy Family went on a quick 7-0 run in the first quarter.

But after the team got back into synch, it didn’t take long to close the gap.

Lewis-Palmer defeated the Tigers by 17 in early December, but Benton fully expected to see a different team.

Holy Family went on a quick run late in the fourth quarter, scoring 10 straight to cut deficit to 10.

“We know someone is going to throw a punch at some point but we just have to play the same way no matter what,” Scott said. “If that ends up being a 30-point lead or a one-point lead it’s all right, we just have to continue playing at that level.

Tanner Baird was the Tigers’ leading scorer with 19 points, followed by Garrett Green with 16.

Noah Baca led the Rangers with 20 points in 26 minutes of play. Scott scored 17 and nearly had his third double-double of the year with nine rebounds. Ethan Forrester and Matthew Ragsdale scored 13 each for Lewis-Palmer.

“We’re definitely jelling right now a lot more,” Scott said. “Everything seems natural and flowing. Even the difficult passes they just look so simple because we know we are going to be there, and that comes with that chemistry we have.”

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