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Boys basketball: Lewis-Palmer tops Wasson to return to 4A title game

BOULDER — Geez, why should it be easy?

Veteran Lewis-Palmer coach Russ McKinstry has been asking himself that question all season and again Friday night, when his Rangers earned a tooth-and-nail, hard-fought decision over sentimental favorite Wasson 61-54 in the Class 4A Final Four at the Coors Events Center.

“There will be no shortcuts this year,” McKinstry said after the Rangers moved to 24-3. As the defending 4A state champion who will go after another Saturday night against Valor Christian, McKinstry said, “we’re the team with the target on our backs.”

And as the hunted, Lewis-Palmer held off the ThunderBirds down the stretch by making 10 of 10 free throws over the final 8 minutes — when they enoyed a 19-8 scoring edge — and protecting the ball against considerable pressure.

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