George Washington snaps Rangeview’s multi-season unbeaten streak to reach state final – The Denver Post

AURORA — Forgive the emotional outburst from George Washington’s boys basketball team on Thursday night when players jumped, flexed and roared in delight on the court at Rangeview High School.

Snapping an opponent’s 61-game winning streak, plus advancing to the Class 5A state championship game, requires a celebration worthy of the moment. The seventh-seeded Patriots — a Denver Public Schools underdog — soaked it all in.

“I’m trying to do it for DPS and the city,” senior George Washington forward Kendale Johnson said. “That’s it.”

George Washington (13-3) defeated Rangeview, 68-58, in the 5A semifinals with a gutsy performance in which the Patriots trailed for nearly the entire game. The third-seeded Raiders (16-1), without a loss since December 2018, appeared poised to repeat their state title feat from 2019. Rangeview led by 5 points entering the fourth quarter.

But the Patriots never panicked. Their veteran group features a number of teammates who grew up playing together since the fourth grade. The team starts seniors at all five positions.

“I think we had a lot of nerves in the first quarter,” George Washington coach Reggie Hammons said. “But they have a really good team. They haven’t lost in two years. A lot of emotion.”

The turning point arrived in the fourth quarter when George Washington converted a pair of nifty and-one layups to claw back within striking distance. The Patriots then took the lead by showcasing uncommon poise at the charity stripe.

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