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Relentless all-around attack helps Lewis-Palmer boys blast Liberty
Rangers extend win streak to 34
The 4A defending champions have run their win streak to 34. Now they'll put that streak to its toughest test yet this season when they host D'Evelyn on Thursday. L-P is ranked No. 1 in both The Gazette and the Denver Post's 4A rankings. The Post has D'Evelyn ranked No. 2 in its statewide rankings.
Columnist David Ramsey will be at the game Thursday night. Look for his column at Gazettepreps.com
MONUMENT – A week off did very little to slow down Lewis-Palmer’s high-octane offense and pressure-wilting defense.
Rangers senior Jordan Scott led four scorers in double figures with 18 points, the defense allowed only five outside shots in the first half in building a 19-point lead, and the Rangers returned to the court Tuesday for the first time since Dec. 11 with a resounding victory.
“I wasn’t worried about a slow start,” said Scott, who led a balanced attack as Lewis-Palmer started fast in a 65-46 win over Liberty on Tuesday. “We practice hard, so it’s easier when we play.”
Justin Smith scored 16 points, Chase Stone had 11 and Tyler Owens added 10 as the defending 4A state champions extended their winning streak to 34 games dating back to last season.
“Our goal is to come out strong, throw the first punch and play strong the whole game,” Smith said. “We have a lot of guys who can score and hit shots, and that makes it hard for other teams.”
The victory was L-P coach Russ McKinstry's 400th of his career.
While spreading out the scoring, the defense made life miserable for Liberty (3-4), which lost its third straight game. Only two of the Rangers’ opponents have cracked the 50-point plateau, and their first-half performance made sure the Lancers wouldn’t be the third.
Liberty made just five of 23 shots in the first 16 minutes, trailing 31-12 at halftime. The Lancers found their legs in the second half, playing the Rangers (7-0) to a 34-all draw.
“We have to take the positives and move on,” junior AJ Bohuslavsky said. “Their pressure was a shock to us. We had never seen that kind of pressure from the start. It was tough to battle back.”
Bohuslavsky led Liberty with 12 points, while fellow guard Brandon Wilburn scored nine of his 11 points in the second half.
“They didn’t fold, and at times in the second half, I thought we outplayed them,” first-year Liberty coach Ivan Chambers said. “We’ve just got to put 32 minutes together instead of 16. But I’m excited about what these guys can do. They’re starting to see what they can do.”
Scott set the tempo right away, winning the tip, then getting the ball back and driving the lane for the first of his 12 first-half points as the Rangers scored the game’s first six.
Bohuslavsky hit a 3-pointer from the top of the key, followed by a baseline drive by Wilburn to bring the Lancers to within one at 6-5.
Scott and four other Rangers contributed to a 12-2 run to end the quarter. Then the senior showed his range in the second quarter, hitting the first of his two 3-pointers, the latter of which swelled the advantage to 29-12.
The Rangers sank five 3-pointers in the first half, equal to the total generated by the Lancers.