UNDENIABLE RANGER SPIRIT BRINGS HOME 4A STATE CHAMPIONSHIP
By Erica Burt (LP class of 2016)
On March 9, 2019, the Lewis-Palmer Rangers Boys Basketball team laced up their shoes for one final hurrah. After a 3-point loss in 2018 against the Longmont Trojans, the Rangers returned this year to their second state game vs. Longmont.
With an exciting 28-0 undefeated season, the first since 1980 and 2002, the LPHS Boys Basketball had everything in their favor to win the state championship: a great season record, talented players, and an exceptional coach. It was a talented team of twelve, of which nine were seniors. Since Coach Bill Benton became head coach, the Rangers have had a record number of state playoff qualifications and state championships.
Scheduled to play last year’s winners, Lewis-Palmer knew they had to bring it on. Both teams came to the Denver Coliseum with perfect, undefeated seasons. Both teams came with every intention of taking home the 4A Colorado State Championship title, but it was the LPHS Rangers who did.
The entire game kept fans in suspense as it was a 2 or 3-point game from the beginning. However, the Rangers remained calm and kept position of ball throughout. With a game this close, every point counted, but three major highlights included: Joel Scott’s (#5) swinging slam dunk, Matthew Ragsdale’s (#22) impressive save and much-needed 2 points, and a steal and bucket with 10.3 seconds left on the clock from Noah Baca (#10).
For this team of brothers, in this last game together, this win was the perfect season ending. Emotions flooded the coliseum as parents and students cheered and celebrated the victory together. Immediately after the trophy presentation, the Ranger players headed to their fan section to celebrate with fellow Lewis-Palmer students. It was a Ranger Family win, and it was a surreal moment for anyone who had watched this team grow and flourish the past four years. Coach Benton stated, “To walk out as seniors and finish this, I couldn’t be happier for them.”
The buzzer has sounded. The undefeated season ended with a 57-52 victory against Longmont. The fans are gone. Yet, the “Undeniable Ranger Spirit” remains, as the heart of LPHS Basketball. Passed down through the decades, this spirit is part of the tradition that will carry on for years to come. Congratulations to the Lewis-Palmer Boys Basketball, Undefeated, Colorado State Champions 2019. We can’t wait to see what your future