DENVER — The Holy Family Tigers had a game plan.
They executed too.
But it was going to take perfection to beat arguably one of the best teams in the state. Bringing your ‘A’ game simply wasn’t going to be enough … it needed to be and ‘A+’.
Top-seeded and unbeaten Lewis-Palmer (26-0) ended Holy Family’s season on Friday night at the Denver Coliseum in the 4A semifinals, 70-56.
“We knew that (Joel) Scott and (Matthew) Ragsdale were their guys and I thought we did a pretty good job on Ragsdale, Garrett Green had another fantastic effort,” Holy Family coach Pete Villecco said. “Scott is a handful, but so is (Noah) Baca.
“He was really good, and just didn’t make any mistakes.”
How good was Baca.
The 6-foot-2 senior guard came in as the Rangers third or even fourth offensive option, and the Tigers were content to let him be the guy, if he could, to beat them. He went a perfect 9-for-9 from the field and finished with a game-high 20 points.
“And that is why they are 27-0,” Villecco continued.
The Tigers kept things close in the early going, but a second quarter spurt by the Rangers, where they capitalized on turnovers and turned them in to easy looks on the other end, allowed them to methodically pull away.
Four Rangers, Scott (17 points and 9 rebounds), Baca (20 points), Ethan Forrester (13 points) and Ragsdale (13 points) scored in double figures and along with Tre McCulough were instrumental on the boards, out-rebounding Holy Family 30-18.
“They are very efficient and they really hurt us in the paint, which killed us,” Villecco said.
The Tigers made mini runs, especially late when they cut the Rangers lead to 10 in with two and half minutes to play, but just simply ran out of time in their comeback effort. Tanner Baird was again brilliant and in his final prep game with the Tigers, finished with a team high 19 points.
Green, who drew the defensive assignment on Ragsdale, scored the first seven points of the game (The Tigers opened on a 7-0 run) and finished with 16 points.
There is absolutely no reason for the Tigers to hang there heads. They gave the best team in the state a serious run for their money and finished the season with 22 wins.
“We knew we had a small margin of error, but there is no way we are going to hang our head,” Villecco said. “We made tremendous memories with this group. We had seven senior that represented this program so well and I’m just so proud of them.”
Lewis-Palmer will try to avenge last seasons championship game defeat to Longmont on Saturday afternoon at 3 p.m. The Trojans, also a perfect 27-0, dispatched of Pueblo East in the second 4A game.
(1) LEWIS-PALMER 70, (4) HOLY FAMILY 56
At The Denver Coliseum
Holy Family (22-5) 11 8 18 19 — 56
Lewis-Palmer (27-0) 13 18 21 18 — 70
Holy Family — Dom Nellis 1 2-2 4, Kyle Helbig 3 1-1 7, Zach Becker 1 0-0 3, Tanner Baird 8 3-6 19, Jonathan Pfenning 0 0-0 0, Eddie Bartoletti 0 0-0 0, Kenny Fernandez 0 0-0 0, Garrett Green 6 0-0 16, Adam Jolly 3 1-3 7, Andrew Campbell 0 0-0 0. Totals 22 7-12 56.
Lewis-Palmer — Joel Scott 6 5-7 17, Noah Baca 9 1-2 20, Ethan Forrester 5 3-4 13, Matthew Ragsdale 6 0-2 13, Dominic Roma 1 1-1 3, Brayden Curry 0 0-0 0, Tre McCullough 2 0-0 4, Loren Phillips 0 0-0 0. Totals 29 10-16 70.
3-pt. goals — Holy Family (5): Green 4, Becker; Lewis-Palmer (2): Baca, Ragsdale. Fouls — Holy Family 16, Lewis-Palmer 14.